Is The World Getting Better or Worse?
A century ago, Professor George T.W. Patrick of the State University of Iowa claimed to have found an ancient inscription by King Naram Sin of Chaldea that was imprinted on stone.
It reportedly said, “We have fallen upon evil times, and the world has waxed very cold and wicked. Politics are very corrupt. Children are no longer respectful to their parents.”
The ancients believed that society was on the verge of collapse due to turmoil and the foolishness of the youth. They were convinced that the world was veering n the wrong direction.
Things aren't that different now. This dire outlook continues. Most twenty-first century Americans are convinced that the world is going to hell in a hand basket. People fixate on problems but are oblivious to many of the wonderful things transpiring around the globe.
British journalist Oliver Burkeman observes that in our modern era, "People are indeed rising out of extreme poverty at an extraordinary rate; child mortality really has plummeted; standards of literacy, sanitation and life expectancy have never been higher. The average European or American enjoys luxuries medieval potentates literally couldn’t have imagined."
Many don't believe it but bit by bit, the world is getting better. Not on every single measure every single year, but as a whole, things are moving in the right direction.
It is hard to believe that so many are in despair when this is the most beautiful time in the history of the world to be alive.
Check out my newest book: Why You've Been Duped Into Believing That the World Is Getting Worse
. George T. W. Patience, “The New Optimism,” Popular Science Monthly (May 1913), 493.
 Oliver Burkeman, “Is the world really better than ever?” Guardian (July 28, 2017).