Don’t Be a Hater & Other Condemnations Of The Cynic # 725

“You never know these days.”

An often uttered, rarely accurate line indicating that, indeed, the entire world is going to hell.  That no soul cares for their fellow human.  It’s all guns and violence and sexy time and, no, the kids aren’t alright .

Where does this idea come from, this false depiction of the “Good Old Days” when nothing bad happened?  Such an outlook ignores the progress we’ve made as a society and as humans (not to mention the reams of history of terrible shit we did back when “times were better”).

Remember that time when the guy looked at the tall man in the bar and the tall man shot him, because, well, it was a “funny” look, and then we all just went back to our drinks because, well, the look was a little odd?

Nope, me either.  Because it doesn’t really happen anymore.  Or, if the first part did, the police would likely be called and the tall man would go to jail because we have rules and because we enforce them.

That wasn’t always the case, though.  I’m a nerd.  I read about the actual history of people like Billy the Kid and other really old, dead things (like I said, nerd).  No one ever thought it was really cool to just go and shoot the guy, but there was a time when a lot more tall men got away with it.

People love a good panic and the media loves a good profit from a panic (Sharks!  Sinkholes!  Snowstorms named after Harry Potter characters!), but let’s not forget that, statistically speaking, the world is a million times better than it once was.  And it continues to improve.

Now, we have a long, long way to go.  Bad things still happen.  Particular populations are still oppressed, harassed or ignored.

But instead of stepping back and saying “well, it’s all going to hell anyway”, perhaps you should congratulate yourself for being part of a growing, learning species, takes some notes from past victories (and failures) and get out there and help make the Good Days of Now into the Better Days of Tomorrow.

“You never know these days, how good we could really make it.”

-From the desk of The Practical Optimist