This may come as a surprise, but by many measures, the world is a much better place than it used to be. Philosopher Thomas Hobbes once said the life of man was “nasty, brutish and short.” But average life expectancy worldwide has steadily increased in the past century and jumped up in the past 15 years – with the biggest jump in Africa. Severe poverty has also declined radically in recent decades – and current trends suggest it can be virtually eliminated by 2030. Researcher Steven Pinker has found that violence has been on the decline for centuries.

Photo from Pixabay.

How can the world be getting better when things seem so terrible? I address this issue in the latest edition of PEP Talks – The World is Getting Better.

Yes, it is still true that for too many people, life is still nasty, brutish and short. But negative news has a bigger impact on us psychologically than positive news, and the media makes sure we get a lot of the negative! In addition, our expectations have also been changing — we are expecting and demanding more of our leaders, our institutions and our fellow humans.

How can we keep encouraging the positive trends? Do not get discouraged! Let’s continue to move the bar up with our expectations, and encourage positive change by:

Getting informed – subscribe to PEP and other reliable sources

Getting involved – join PEP at, and other worthwhile groups

Letting the world know how you feel – talk to your friends; like, share and post on social media; tell your elected leaders.

Enjoy some peace today.

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