A thousand different global crises are going on all at once, each of them distinctly horrible. Israel and Palestine. The Russia-Ukraine war. Nagorno-Karabakh. The Yemen humanitarian crisis. Climate change. Countless others — so many that I can’t name off the top of my head.
Outside of these mass global crises, the world remains as unstable as ever. The economy is in shambles. Inflation is rising. Governments are falling apart. It seems as if we’ll all die before we reach old age.
The state of the world is overwhelming. However, even in the midst of all this madness, it’s important to remember that the world is still getting better every day. We get to live in a world with rapidly developing technology, including advances in healthcare — for example, the COVID-19 vaccine was completed and distributed within the span of a year.
That isn’t the only benefit we enjoy in this modern age. Global poverty has plummeted over the last few decades. Society — specifically American society — has shifted towards progress and has become far more accepting than it ever was before; or, at least, people have brought more awareness to social issues, such as racism and sexism, than before.
And, of course, there’s still a long way to go. There always is. More progress can always be made. But personally, even if we still live in a world on fire, I would rather be alive now than in any other period of time.
However, we still need to find ways in which we can learn to withstand the flames.
First of all, if you read or watch the news all the time, you’re naturally going to conclude that everything is going wrong. This is because the news usually only reports on terrible events, as these are the most interesting events that happen. These are the events that get viewers to tune in.
However, the world is not only filled with catastrophe. If you ever feel overwhelmed by what the news is bringing you, take a step back and stop engaging with it for a while. It’s important to remember that the news isn’t representative of everything that’s happening in the world. We live in an era of information overload, after all, so it’s essential to take a break every now and then.
Now, on to my next point. Even in a world of madness, where it can feel like we are powerless to do anything about the hardships we have to face, we can still find hope and happiness within our own lives. There is very little you can realistically do to alleviate any of the problems afflicting the world, but you can still change your own life and the lives of your loved ones in meaningful ways.
Have you watched the movie “Everything Everywhere All at Once”? If you haven’t, you should. It expands on this same point. Even in a world where everything is meaningless and worthless and horrible and on fire, you can learn to live beyond that and embrace your own place in it.
Because in this imperfect world, hope is all we have.