Are some things getting better?
There are always things that are getting worse. For example, over the past year, you probably know someone who has become unemployed or ill or both, and there’s more carbon in the atmosphere inexorably heating up the planet.
But if you don’t recognize what’s improving in your own life, then you feel stagnant, or declining. This can foster what researchers call “learned helplessness” – a dangerously slippery slope. It typically takes only a few experiences of painful entrapment to create it but many times as many counter-experiences to undo it.
If you don’t recognize whatever is getting better in the people around you, then you might feel more disappointed or despairing than you need to feel – and they might feel not seen, criticized, or “why bother.”
If we don’t see the positive trends in our world amidst the negative ones – such as for many people, improved medical care and access to information, and less extreme poverty – then we’ll get swallowed up by all the bad news, and give up trying to make this world better.
This is not looking through rose-colored glasses. The point is to see life as it is, particularly your own life – including the progress that is occurring.