I’ve been on a social media sabbatical, but even without much online time, I noted many people expressing relief at the end of 2018. There are many current world events that make things seem frightening and perhaps hopeless.
Consider for example the following brief list from an article outlining 10 of the most significant world events in 2018:
- Humanitarian crisis in Yemen
- Drumpf’s trade wars
- Climate disasters
I’m going to offer you a different perspective, a look back further, perhaps to elucidate the non-linear path of human society.
One hundred years ago, in 1918, the world faced these challenges, among others:
- 1918 influenza pandemic killed 3-5% of the global population (50-100 million people)
- Women’s suffrage in the UK and Canada gives most women the vote (no vote for US women until 1920)
- World War I ended, 16 million people died during the conflict
- Russian Civil War continued and the execution of the Romanov family occurred (this war killed 7-12 million people, mostly civilians)
- Earthquake and tsunami in Puerto Rico kills 76–116 people
Comparing the two lists, it seems a mixed bag: some things are far better (control of infectious disease and women’s rights), some have changed little (civil wars), and others have worsened (natural disasters). But the world is not at war, so I’m going to say that overall, things are better now. As much as it should be? Perhaps not. But I’m looking for the positive spin here.
Be kind to yourself and others. Look for the silver lining, if only a glint.
Peace & progress in 2019,