Sometimes being human can be overwhelming, especially if we care about the planet and the people on it.
So here are two reasons to be happy:
1) Action and change is happening all around you, all the time. Think about some of the progress human beings have made in the last 200 years (in some parts of the world, not all):
- the abolition of slavery
- votes for women
- votes for all races
- access to education
- the rule of law
- treatments for diseases like polio, whooping cough, rabies, bubonic plague
Three hundred years ago the whole world was run by violent dictators who maintained power from castles, armed with swords. Some of us are lucky to have moved so far from that reality. But there are still many parts of the world where people are still living in the modern equivalent of the middle ages and the one with the most guns is still in charge.
So, if you have access to a computer and can read this, be thankful for the freedoms you enjoy in the modern world and if you want to be active, work to share those freedoms with others who don’t have them yet.
2) Human beings have been talking about the end of the world for hundreds or even thousands of years.
The Vikings believed in Ragnarok, an epic final battle between Loki the trickster and the gods of Valhalla.
Christians have been predicting the ‘second coming’ or the ‘rapture’ for centuries. The Book of Revelation is believed to have been written around the end of the first century AD (ie nearly 2,000 years ago). Don’t just take my word for it, see what the Encyclopaedia Britannica has to say on the subject.
The Mayan calendar has often been touted as predicting various end dates for the world as we know it.
In the 1890s, many authors, artists and cultural leaders talked about the end of the world, as they faced the prospect of moving into a new century. Shortly afterwards they experienced the First World War, and many believed the world literally was ending.
I remember when I was at school, every few years there would be news reports about some sort of planetary alignment, or prediction from Nostradamus, that meant the world was going to end on Wednesday – but it never did.
We did it again in 1999, when the Y2K bug was supposed to bring about the end of civilisation by shutting down all our computers…
…and we’re still here and we still seem to be improving. So there’s a lot of evidence to suggest maybe the human race is pretty resilient and adaptable and we’re still learning.
In truth, ‘the world as we know it’ is destroyed every second of every day and replaced with a new world which is almost the same, but now has a new thought, a new technology, a new medical breakthrough, a new political movement, a new book, a new artistic movement, new people being born.
Be happy you’re part of it and keep doing your bit to help the evolution continue.