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Bad But Better - Why the World is Better Than You Think

You wake up and read that fifty people were murdered by an unforeseen terrorist, right next to it is the biggest scandal in political history with a natural disaster in a third world country by its side. Is the world really that bad? Of course, these events happened, that’s why they are reported. But are they the only things happening in the world? If they are not analyzed with perspective, numbers and events by themselves seem deceptively disastrous. Do you hear about any child dying of polio? No, because thanks to scientific advancement and charities such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, small pox (a disease that killed 300 million people in the 1900s) has been successfully eradicated from this planet. Likewise, many successes were possible. According to UNICEF, the child (5-14) mortality rate has decreased from 9.32 % in 1990 to 3.91% in 2017. By the age of 30, a girl child is spending 9 years for every 10 years a boy spends in school, a beneficial improvement from the 1900s. According to the World Bank, the number of people living in extreme poverty (less than $1.9/day) has sharply decreased from 1.85 billion in 1990 to 736 million in 2015.

So, if we had improvements, why aren’t they reported more often. One hypothesis is that progress takes times. Of the three preceding improvements, two have occurred over a period of 25 years, not overnight. Even if we were to say that there was exponential growth every day, the percentage would be so small that it would seem insignificant to report. However, it was the sum of all those daily insignificant percentages that could make a remarkable improvement in 25 years.

So, we are able to keep more human beings alive today than before. However, our new challenge is creating a better world for those alive. Some challenges include, global warming, terrorism, racism, and one that affects one half of the population more than the other, sexism. As stated previously, the average time a girl and boy attend school in 30 years is relatively same, an improvement from before. However, many women in developing countries are paid only 50-80% (percentage varies by country) compared to the men with the same level of education and job experience. Another trend shows that men hold more executive positions than women with the same qualifications.

Sexism seems illogical. In fact, it breeds inefficiency and discrimination towards random genetic chances. So, how can we be more efficient? Your TV, your social media, this excerpt are all acknowledgments, the first step to closing the discrimination. All those women who are not falling prey to stereotypes and striving for a better opportunities are executing the change. Currently, the World Economic Forum predicts that it could take up to 70-100 years to dissipate the gender wage gap. While that might seem irrelevant to today’s workers, remember that we’re reaping the benefits of our brave ancestors, so it’s only dutiful to work hard and build a better future for the generations to come.

In conclusion, when you receive dramatic information, realize that it’s just information until you analyze its impact and take necessary steps to make the situation better. Yesterday was worse, today is bad, tomorrow can be better.

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