Have you ever noticed that the world feels like it’s getting worse as you get older?
There’s a reason for this, and it has nothing to do with the world falling to pieces.
The world we see isn’t the world there is. How you see the world depends on the lens you look through. Time doesn’t just cut down your body; it also damages your lens – the same ones you see the world through.
When you’re young and energetic, you see the world through this view. You understand the discoveries, the new technology, and you’re familiar with the world.
Years go by, and soon the dial phones and cars that scared your parents are the internet and computers scaring you. Part of human nature is to hate what we don’t understand.
Then comes the aches. Every year hurts some more, and another physical activity is crossed off our list of what’s possible.
Eventually, we ask ourselves the question – is the world getting worse?
A question swap
Our brains have a bad habit of looking for the easy answer to a hard question. So it takes a shortcut, swapping a hard question for an easy one.
Is the world getting worse? Becomes, do I feel the world is getting worse?
The second question becomes much easier to answer. Here is what we know:
- We feel weaker, we hurt more, and we can’t do many things we used to.
- We don’t like a lot of this new technology. Things were simpler in our times; we didn’t need them then.
- We look back on memories and all the great times we had when we were younger.
- The news is full of violence and disagreement.
A simple question switch leaves us answering the wrong question with the wrong answer.
Our world is better in every way we’re able to measure it. Looking at all the information we have and deciding the world is getting worse is like an astronaut pressing their nose to the window and deciding the world is still flat as they watch the green and blue globe spin around.
Yes, climate change is a serious problem. But I can’t help but be grateful to live in a time when our biggest problem is fought on an individual level with recycling, holding a picket sign or posting on Facebook.
Not long ago, It was considered a good inning if you only lost half of your kids, made it through childbirth, and died quickly from the scratch you didn’t know you had on your leg.
If you’re lucky, you might be able to get together enough cash for the doctor to cut it off. But not before applying the anaesthetic – a belt to scream into as your leg’s sawn through the bone.
I’m not undermining the issues we have. Tackling climate change is incredibly important so we can continue enjoying the progress we’ve made on the shoulders of the generations before us.
What’s a sad truth about life?