“Happy New Year” is the greeting carried on the lips of everyone at this time of the year. The hope that our human compatriots have a fortunate twelve months. We wish those we care about to have the best of times for the days to come because most of us are inherently kind.
2016 was a trying year for many on a personal level so that wish does go a long way and is much appreciated by all.
For humanity as a whole, it’s a rather wasteful wish because things will get better in general whether they like it or not. Things are getting better.
World suffering is down by almost every measurement available. The percentage of the world living in extreme poverty has dropped. The Indian caste system is in the process of dying. Malaria deaths have dropped by almost half since 2000. Cancer survival rate is now well on the way to 70%. Whilst the war in Syria is horrific, it’s not as horrific as previous wars. It might not even reach the same level of casualties as the American war in Iraq. It is also small compared to older wars which is not surprising as wars are going out of fashion. They happen less frequently every year and even when they do happen, less die.
Those scrabbling for a response might find some resolve with environmental arguments. Well, they might try. Remember the ozone layer? The doomsday problem that would leave us all frying from radiation? Well, the ozone layer is healing itself after common sense legislation was enacted. That threat is dead. When we humans get together and decide to fix shit, things get done fast. Global warming is a major issue and as soon as we get our collective shit together, we will fix it because we need a habitable planet to live on.
The improving situation with the ozone layer was given little time on our news cycle because it’s not interesting. The stories that sell are the doomsday prophecies, the fear filled fancies that play to our animal instincts. News rarely gives mass humanity the pat on the back it deserves and that can leave us with a skewed perspective on how good we are. I happen to think humanity is quite delightful.
So whilst things can seem hopeless with war, poverty, terrorism, political division and Honey G, the cynical amongst us are wrong. I understand some of them may enjoy the catharsis of talking about how “the world is going to hell”. I enjoy some of that same catharsis myself! It’s clear however, that that cynicism is unfounded and silly.
I know 2016 has been a hard year for many and I hope it get’s better and I believe it will.
I hope you all have had a good holiday. Thanks for the support this year. See you all in the next one.
Happy New Year,