I recently read a great article that summarized a speech given by American author, and futurist, Ray Kurzweil, at a conference in Seattle, July 21 and 22.
According to Kurzweil, people from all walks of life believe the world is getting worse. I have to admit, sometimes I also get this feeling. He continued by saying that it is not the world that is getting worse, but instead it is information access that is getting better.
A century ago, a battle, wiping out an entire village, would never be heard about. Today, not only do we hear about disasters, but we experience them. It is one thing to read about a tragedy, but now when you turn on the news, you are bombarded by videos, pictures, and audio, straight from the scene of the tragedy. This attack on our senses has a much stronger and longer lasting effect on our minds.
Terrorism has always been around in some form, an example are the IRA in Ireland, who made it their mission to separate Ireland from the United Kingdom, by any means necessary, including, but not limited to terrorism. But there is the other side of this ordeal as well, the government, attempting forcibly, to prevent their leaving, by many of the same means. Even though it was officially sanctioned, it amounted to the same kinds of trauma to those going through it.
We no longer miss out on any tragedy. The whole world knows about it and experiences it the same. It is important to remember that these events have always happened. Younger generations may not remember or might not have been around to experience some of the tragedies in recent times.
In reality, we live in a world that is safer, and better then it has ever been. Thanks to advancements in medicine and quality of life, life expectancy is higher then it has ever been, and infant mortality rates around the world are lower then ever before. Poverty rates are dropping and global unemployment is also dropping.
As a community we have to remember we live in a world that is more connected than it has ever been. This does not mean we should simply ignore the tragedies around the world, but instead put them on a more global perspective, scale or point of view.