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December 18, 2019

Decayed Decade

Acknowledgement: I stole the name from a University Revue in 1979. It’s also a song by Sabertooth Zombie but you probably knew that.

At the end of every decade we may feel that the human condition/society has lurched another step down. The first decade of this century saw the rise of reality tv. The second found the fullest expression of that in the election of a reality TV star to, ahem, “lead” the free world.

But the reality is much more uplifting: most of the poorest people today have better lives than a billionaire had a century ago.

I subscribe to a newsletter called Future Crunch, which I read to offset the daily flood of rubbish regarding Trump, Brexit, Australian politics, the British royal family and the Kardashians. It reports what doesn’t get covered in the NZ Horrid.

As we head for the beach and then gear ourselves up for a new decade, give yourself some reasons to be hopeful:

  • India and Pakistan have opened a peace corridor on their border, allowing Sikhs to visit their second holiest site for the first time in 72 years
  • Theresa Vereline just became the first paralyzed American to complete a marathon, with the assistance of her exoskeleton suit
  • According to the World Bank, India has halved its poverty rate in the past 30 years, and zero extreme poverty in the next decade is now within reach

Lastly, you probably haven’t seen any coverage of the Save the Children’s  2019 Global Childhood Report.  In the last 20 years, children’s lives have improved in 173 out of 176 countries. Today there are:

  • 4 million fewer child deaths per year
  • 49 million fewer stunted children
  • 130 million more children in school
  • 94 million fewer child laborers
  • 11 million fewer girls forced into marriage or married early
  • 3 million fewer teen births per year
  • 12,000 fewer child homicides per year

That’s a lot of better lives. At some point over the holiday season, raise a glass to toast and thank the thousands of people who work unsung, uncelebrated, untwittered to make this a better world.

Have a wonderful Christmas and summer break doing the things you love with the people you love to be with.

My New Year’s Eve toast: To getting better.

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