Neighboring Practicing

The World’s Getting Better (Yes, Really)

Although it may not feel like it, and although the news may not reflect it, the world has actually been becoming a better — not worse — place in recent years. Global pandemics aside, a lot of good things have been happening on our planet.

Given that the last few years have felt so uncertain and chaotic, it’s sometimes felt difficult to find things to feel optimistic about, but let me reassure you, there are lots of great, positive, uplifting advances that have occurred recently within our global community.

Improvements for the Environment

With the generally “negative narrative,” it might be hard to believe that quite a lot of positive achievements have been made regarding protecting our precious earth.

For example, the most recent findings show that, as a global community, we are protecting more and more parts of the earth from exploitation that are essential for biodiversity.

  • Furthermore, these key areas of biodiversity continue to be awarded the necessary legal protection for conservation by law.
  • Also, nearly 11% of the world’s global energy now comes from renewable sources such as solar, wind, and hydro. This is a great contribution towards decreasing the use of fossil fuels.
  • The number of organizations divesting from fossil fuels recently reached a staggering $11.5 trillion dollars.
  • In addition to this, air quality has vastly improved with fewer people than ever before dying from air pollution.

Socio and Economic Developments

  • Access to all kinds of resources that help people improve their health and living conditions has increased all over the world. Most notably, figures from the World Health Organization show that more people now have access to safe drinking water than ever before.
  • Also, almost 90% of the world’s population now has electricity. While these may seem like basics that we often take for granted, heat and clean drinking water are essential components for human health and wellbeing.
  • There have also been improvements in global wage levels with the average employed person now making more than within the last 30 years.
  • Global literacy has also continued to climb with more children completing primary school education than ever before in recorded history.


  • A good indicator of the health of humankind is life expectancy, and the United Nations Population Division has advised that the average global life expectancy for someone born in 2019 is now 72.4 years. This is the highest number in nearly six full decades of record-keeping.
  • Also, global infant mortality rates have been falling to their lowest levels on record.
  • New HIV infections have reached an all-time low.
  • For the first time ever, two-thirds of humanity now have access to essential health care services.

I don’t know about you, but looking at these positive advancements that we’ve made over the last few years definitely helps me feel a bit more “balanced” in the greater scheme of things. Unfortunately, due to the fact that “negative news” literally sells more papers (and makes more money), it encourages the media to largely ignore all of the positive news stories that are out there in abundance. And after almost two years of hearing what we’ve heard over our TV and radio stations, I think it’s definitely important that we try to seek out more of the good news and remind ourselves that there are definitely lots of  people out there making good things happen.

-Catherine Smith


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Catherine is a writer and coach based in Belfast, Northern Ireland and was the Director's Assistant on Game of Thrones (GOT). After working with the writers and director's on GOT, and being included in an Emmy award, Catherine was inspired to embark on her own writing career; she is passionate about all things related to personal development, mindful living, and dance. You can follow some of her work at or contact her on Facebook.

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