We are living in the most remarkable times in history. Things are getting better and better.
Let’s look at what I mean.
Two hundred years ago, a king would pay millions just to enjoy the simple luxuries the average person is enjoying today.
I’m talking about simple things. Things like televisions, dishwashers, air-conditionings, refrigerators, the Internet, cell phones, or cars.
Those are the things that most people take for granted in life. Think about it this way:
That king could not fly to the other side of the continent in just a few hours. It wasn’t possible. There were no airplanes.
Many websites focus on the subject of poverty. It’s a good thing. I’m not complaining. We need to do everything we can to wipe out poverty.
Everyone should, at least, have access to basic necessities. There’s way too much wealth floating around.
But, we still cannot deny the fact that poverty is declining.
Fewer people are living in extreme poverty than the last one hundred years. How do I know that?
During my teen years, I lived in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. I remember that chicken and rice were luxurious foods for my family and me.
Once a month, or on occasional Sundays, we were able to have some rice and chicken. There was never enough to go around. Corn meal was the every-day food for us.
As a far as I know, if you owned a television, a refrigerator, a car, and a telephone, you were rich. That means my next door neighbor was rich.
When I was a kid living in my tiny village, there was no electricity. We used kerosene lamps at night. There were no televisions, telephones nor movies.
There was no ice. In fact, I remember the first time I put a piece of ice in my mouth. It was during my trip to Port-au-Prince to reunite with my mother.
I experienced a brain freeze. I threw it away immediately.
Fast forward today. The last time I went to my village, every house I visited has electricity and a cell phone. Some houses even have a cell phone for every person.
Those same people eat rice every day. Many are on the Internet. They are making friends all over the world through Facebook, Twitter, and Whatsapp.
Needless to say, I don’t need a website or someone to tell me about poverty. I don’t need someone to tell me it’s declining either. I know first hand.
Bad News Is Addictive
If you pay attention to the media, you get a sense we are living in the worst of times. You would think doomsday is right around the corner.
Some of my friends think I’m kind of weird because I don’t watch television. They believe that I should know about everything that is going on. But they have no idea why I stay away from the tv.
The thing is, I train my brain to focus on the positive. I do so because I refuse to contaminate my mind with bad news. I don’t need to learn about every shooting, cutting, dicing, and bleeding.
How is that going to improve my life?
Let’s face it, fear sells. And, the bad news is addictive.
That’s why most people cling to their television to get a good dose of it every day. It’s their fix. No wonder why most people are so cranky today.
The old saying in the media is, “if it bleeds, it leads.”
They tell us crime is at an all-time high and the world is getting more violent. But the reality is, we are living in the most peaceful time in history. Crime is lower than ever.
About 1,084,000 people died during the Civil War in the United States. Another 1,076,000 people were killed during World War II.
Guess what? In the Iraq war, only 36,710 people died. And 4,442 people were killed during the Afghanistan War.
Now, when I say only, I’m comparing the numbers. I don’t mean to make light of a situation where people are dying in wars. I’m only making a point.
If you doubt those numbers, visit this FBI-page for some crime and violence statistics. But, let me caution you not to focus on the numbers. Instead, look at the ratio. For example…
Let’s say the population was 100,000,000 people. If 300,000 people died in a war, that’s 0.2% of the people that died.
If that same population were 500,000,000 people, the ratio would be 0.04%. Can you see a big difference?
Here’s why the casualties are so low today:
Unlike the war stories in the Bible, we no longer have hand-to-hand combat. That’s a thing of the past.
Oh, how about murders and domestic violence? Well, by all accounts, they are declining as well.
What I’m trying to do here is to inspire you to have no fear about the present nor the future. Things are not as bad as they make them sound.
Of course, the media and the marketers want you to have fear. They wouldn’t have it any other way. That’s how they survive and thrive.
After all, they use fear to scare the daylight out of us so we can buy their goods and services.
Fear and pleasure are the two greatest motivators that force us to act. Fear wins every time.
We tend to take action quicker and faster when we are afraid. I’m talking about the natural inborn fight or flight response.
Good News About Food Prices
How about the cost of living? Shouldn’t we be concerned about rising prices?
Nope. Things are getting better there, too. I’m smiling.
You see, a friend of mine was just regurgitating some bad news to me about how hard life is getting.
She told me in the eighties food prices were way cheaper. She went on to tell me that $100 could go a long way at the grocery store. She said one could buy enough foods to last for a whole month.
Yet, it never occurs to my friend that the same $100 in 1980 is now worth exactly $306.14. That’s according to the inflation chart.
Now, how much food do you think you can buy today with $300?
You may be thinking, “Rene, why is it then we hear more bad news than before?” The answer is simple.
News Travels Faster Than Ever
Let’s look at it this way:
If fifty years ago an intense war was raging on the other side of the continent among some tribes, you would not know about it.
Even if you did, it would be after a long time.
That means you would not feel a strong urge to do something to stop it. Why?
There was no CNN to report the bad news. You would not be able to see blood and body parts in real time to pull your emotional strings.
In contrast, the moment a war breaks out today, you know about it in an instant.
Horrible images of that war would plaster the feed pages of your Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, and the likes.
Have you ever heard of citizen journalism?
That means anyone with a smartphone, access to the Internet, and some social media accounts can be a journalist.
They can report in real time what is happening wherever they are in the world.
Have you ever wondered why there are so many police brutalities going on suddenly? Well, rest assured it’s not all that sudden. We hear so much about it because the news is getting better.
Be Bold! Be Optimistic!
You see, I’m optimistic about the future. And it’s not because I’m a motivational speaker talking about the future.
Now, am I saying there’s no impending danger looming ahead? No. It’s possible that we may face some catastrophe of immense proportion.
Some crazy lunatic may try to disrupt our lives. However, would that be the first time? The answer is no.
We’ve been through all kinds of deplorable moments in history. But guess what? We survived them all. And we always bounce back.
Should I be paranoid about that thought? No! I will continue to be optimistic.
We are living in the most prosperous and promising times ever. I’m excited to be alive! I’m excited about the future that is looming ahead. I know things are getting better.
We are heading toward some remarkable breakthroughs. We are also heading toward some tough challenges, which is a good thing. Without challenges, creativity dies, and innovations never see the light of the day.
The bottom line is, many of those breakthroughs will radically and positively change our lives.
Those who are afraid of change will be left behind. But those who are ready to embrace change and stay positive will thrive.
Will that be you?