The Upside, by Chris WiensThere are literally thousands of voices every moment of every day declaring how dark our world is becoming.

On one hand I’m glad we now know up to the minute what’s happening in Ukraine or South Sudan. Then there are all the mixed messages and half-truths that muddy the water  and what we see in thirty seconds on TV might be such a minimal part of the story that it doesn’t scratch one itch of reality.

The point is there are so many negative messages coming at us from everywhere, and even if they are true it’s a heavy barrage. This can leave the average human mind in disarray about the world.

So recently I began to wonder if some of my good and bad assumptions about the state of the world were true? Things like; Is it really the best time in history to be alive? Are we actually making a difference in world hunger and poverty? Is our environment really in as bad a shape as the scientists say? Are we worse off financially now than we used to be?

You know those light and fluffy questions about life and the world.

Now I’m well aware that we see the world through the lens of our circumstances. For example, if we’ve lost a job and can’t find another… it seems like everywhere we look there are people with no jobs. Unemployment rates might be at an all-time low but the point is we wouldn’t feel any better because we’re still without a job.

Someone once said, “Maturity is being able to understand someone else’s reality without it being yours.” Easy to say… hard to do.

Recently I picked up a book called “Upside” with the subtitle “Surprising Good News About the State of Our World.” By Bradley R.E. Wright.

This grabbed my attention… written on the back cover;

“What if the Doomsayers have it wrong?

It’s easy to get discouraged or feel paralyzed by what you hear about the terrible state of the world. But what if the media and other prophets of doom have misled us? Could the world actually be getting better?

The answers… and the facts behind them… may surprise you:

  • Extreme poverty has been cut in half since the 1980s, in developing countries.
  • Life expectancy has doubled around the world over the last 100 years.
  • Literacy rates have soared from about 25% to over 80% over the same period.”

Now that’s some good news!

It’s easy to get bogged down and tunnel vision into what we have going on right in front of us, it happens to me all the time. Then I have these gentle reminders that there’s a lot of good going on beyond what I see.

I found this website the other day and have been checking back from time to time. http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/

We certainly never want to ignore the pain and suffering in the world yet we would do well to educate ourselves on what is working at the same time. Maybe you have an invention or idea that could be the upside the world needs.