The World Is Changing. That Doesn’t Mean It’s Getting Worse.

“There are probably two groups reading this article: The first are the complainers….The second, are those who, like me, are tired of hearing how great things used to be by those who came before us.” - Relevant


I appreciate that he’s targeting the negativity. There’s not enough facts there there to be persuasive, though.

This much is obvious from a Christian point of view (and the author doesn’t really dispute this point): lots of things are worse.

He’s also got a point that “how much worse” we perceive them has mostly to do with our lifetime and maybe our parents’ lifetime. And we aren’t putting that in the context of the big picture.

And how much has also gotten better?

All the negative stuff dominates the headlines, but crime is still far lower than the 90’s and the 70’s. Though the rich get richer, the poor get richer as well (just not as fast) in most western countries. We still live way longer than the average person in England/Wales in, say, the 19th century (same goes for U.S.). It’s no longer OK to treat people badly because their skin is darker. It’s no longer OK to exclude women from education and leadership if they want to pursue that.

Well, I could go on, but the clock’s ticking.

My point to the doom and gloomers is that the question of “how bad are things getting?” is like asking “how much global warming is happening?” It can be hard enough to measure a short term trend, and it’s way way harder, once you start looking at centuries.

The best point I think the author has—not in so many words—is that we shouldn’t waste our energy and squander our joy fretting about the inevitable. What has changed is a done deal. Nothing can be done to change the point we have arrived at. Adapt and move forward. What is changing is a different question, but some of that is also inevitable, given what has already changed.

I do this myself with so many problems: waste time and energy griping that what is shouldn’t be rather than using that energy to make what is better. I try to watch for that and tell my shut up, accept that what is, is, and look for ways to deal with what is. … keeping in mind that along with the bad things that have happened, good things have happened also.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.