22 JANUARY 2018 #41 THE WORLD IS GETTING BETTER

IS THE WORLD GETTING BETTER?

The January 15 2018 issue of Time magazine, with “THE OPTIMISTS” on its cover, says yes!

Bad news makes the headlines – hurricanes, wildfires, mass shootings, nuclear stand-offs, bloody civil wars in Syria and Yemen, the tragic persecution of the Rohingya in Myanmar. But, argues Bill Gates (guest editor of this Time issue), these tragedies happen in the context of a bigger, positive trend. “On the whole,” says Gates, “the world is getting better.”

One example: Since 1990, the number of children who die before their fifth birthday has been cut in half. “That means 122 million children have been saved in a quarter century, and countless families have been spared the heartbreak of losing a child.” This smiling little girl from Tanzania, photographed at age five, stands for all the children of the world who have reached that age.

Gates gives other examples of improvement in the world:

  • A century ago it was legal to be gay in 20 countries; today it is legal in over 100 countries.
  • Women , gaining in political power, now make up more than a fifth of members of national parliaments.
  • More than 90% of all children in the world attend primary school.
  • The world over, many fewer people live in abject poverty.
  • In the United States, you are far less likely to die on the job or in a car than your grandparents were.

“Being an optimist doesn’t mean you ignore tragedy and injustice [and the millions of children who die from disease],” Gates emphasizes. “It means you are inspired to look for [and support] people who are making progress on these fronts “

One organization which strengthens my optimism, perhaps more than any other, is:

MEDECINS SANS FRONTIERES

DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS

(Tap to read about this organization and/or to donate.)

Scroll down to “Leave a Reply” to add your ideas. Tell us about something good that is happening in your part of the world.

WarrenHall Crain
Seattle, Washington
22 January 2018

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