“People are less happy about the state of affairs than they were when things were way tougher,”
Given the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, global inflation, and rising interest rates, the question of whether the world we live in today is significantly better than that decades ago arises.
There’s no doubt the current event happening around the globe has put a lot of people in despair. The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has left people with no shelter and some necessities, all the while disrupting the world’s supply chain. The inflation and rising interest rate are also causing people to consume less—urging them to cut down on food spending which potentially affects their nutrient intake.
However, investor and billionaire Charlie Munger believes the world is five times better off than it used to be, citing evidence such as longer life expectancies and reduced poverty.
“People are less happy about the state of affairs than they were when things were way tougher,” he was quoted as saying at an annual meeting held early this year.“It’s weird for somebody my age because I was in the middle of the Great Depression when the hardship was unbelievable,” he added.
This is true if we look at the data. According to World Health Organization, life expectancy has increased by 6 years in between 2000 and 2019, from 66.8 years in 2000 to 73.4 years in 2000, globally. The report also noted that healthy life expectancy has increased by 8% from 2000 to 2019.
Steven Pinker, Harvard professor and Author of the book “ The better angle of our nature and why violence has declined’’, claimed that the world is getting better from wars, violence, and poverty ( all declining) to health, wealth, happiness, and equality (all improving).
In his book “21 Lessons for The 21st Century”, Yuval Noah Harari mentioned that the first decade of the 21st century had been the most peaceful era in human history due to the absence of war and the improvement of human life physically and psychologically.
It’s human instinct to assume the world is more dangerous than we think because we’re biased toward negativity. The news media also plays a significant role, as Steven called it, “ the culprit for much of our negativity’, it makes us believe the world is in perpetual wounds when truthfully, the world is healing. On top of that, social media has also fostered our assumption that the world is getting worst because terrible news can reach us faster now, and we tend to make assumptions based on what is visible to us.
Written by: Kem Sreyneth