Better Than Ever

Bill and Melinda Gates publish an annual letter as part of the Gates’ charitable foundation. The 2014 report is out and it’s full of good news:

“By almost any measure, the world is better than it has ever been. People are living longer, healthier lives. Many nations that were aid recipients are now self-sufficient. You might think that such striking progress would be widely celebrated, but in fact, Melinda and I are struck by how many people think the world is getting worse. The belief that the world can’t solve extreme poverty and disease isn’t just mistaken. It is harmful.” —Bill Gates

Yes, the world is getting better. But did you know that?

Did you know that poverty is on the decline throughout most of the world? Did you know that violent crime in the United States is at an all-time low? That life expectancies in the world are higher than ever? That polio and several other common diseases have nearly been eradicated throughout the world?

Bill and Melinda Gates

I think the end of Gates’ note is particularly important: “The belief that the world can’t solve extreme poverty and disease isn’t just mistaken. It is harmful.”

Why harmful?

Because if we believe that it isn’t possible, we won’t participate. If we believe that the world is a mess—we will treat it that way. If we believe that it is inevitable that “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer,” we seek evidence of that belief. We shut out ways of helping or of giving aid, because we think it’s useless.

It’s pure Science of Mind thinking, but on a global scale.

If we wish to see the world in better financial shape—we need to believe that it is happening (and it is!). If we wish disease and poor nutrition to be a thing of the past—we need to believe that we’re making progress (and we are!).

The rest of the world is shaping up in so many ways.

If we feel “stuck” here in America, maybe it’s time to look both outward and inward. Outward to see how the world is improving. Outward to see the increase in worldwide standards of living, of freedoms and improving health and longevity.

But also inward to see why we Americans are standing in disbelief. Inward to find a way to see our own lives as improving and full of potential. Inward to evaluate our thinking about life—to become an affirmation of positive change for the world and ourselves.