We all have a negativity bias. Those of us who live in the Western world have an inaccurate ideology in regards to the ‘impoverished' world. We conceive that things are getting worse. The media and organizations, who longing for donations, persuade us things are worse than they are. We conform to the ideas in mainstream media. After being subjected to hundreds of stories of people dying from inadequate healthcare, addictions, violent crime, natural disasters, poverty and starvation. What we do not see or hear about is how drastically these numbers are shrinking. Maybe crime has gone up in the last year, or 5 years, but as a whole, these numbers are shrinking. Maybe millions of people still live without electricity, or vaccinations, or education, or even basic human rights, but these numbers are shrinking. When we look at facts from the short term, we can get caught up on the numbers. We have to take a step back at look at not only numbers, but percentages in a population, or changes in numbers over the years. A number can be misleading when it is on its own. Look at statistics over the past 10, 20, or 50 years. Crime is diminishing, women are being educated, having smaller families and overcoming poverty. The world is not on a downhill spiral, the world is getting better. Millions of people work every day toward changes in our society, and it is not in vain. The ‘developed world', will soon just be ‘The World'. 80% of people in the world have some access to electricity. (Rosling, 2018) Even in low-income countries, 60% of girls finish at least primary schools. (Roser & Ortiz-Ospina, 2019) In the past 20 years, poverty has been cut in half. (Rosling, 2018) Child labor has decreased by 40 percent from 2000 to 2016. ("23 charts and maps that show the world is getting much, much better", 2019) Life expectancies have more than doubled in the past 50 years ("23 charts and maps that show the world is getting much, much better", 2019) Child mortality rates have halved since 1990. ("23 charts and maps that show the world is getting much, much better", 2019) We still have years of work ahead of us, but it is important for people to see the progress being made in the world today. To see what benefits their efforts, tax/donation dollars are reaping. We cannot sit by and believe everything is okay in the world, just as much as we cannot accept the lie that the world cannot be improved. Today's mainstream media focus on negative, and short term news. We do not see the long term improvements happening all the time, just more gradually. So many wonderful things are happening in the world, and improvements are constantly progressing. If you ever feel beaten down by negativity in the news, be mindful of the negativity bias, and remember that big changes do not happen overnight. Sources Rosling, H. (2018). Factfulness. [Place of publication not identified]: Flatiron Books. Roser, M., & Ortiz-Ospina, E. (2019). Primary and Secondary Education. Retrieved from https://ourworldindata.org/primary-and-secondary-education 23 charts and maps that show the world is getting much, much better. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.vox.com/2014/11/24/7272929/global-poverty-h ealth-crime-literacy-good-news
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