For those of you who watch the news and get depressed by the overwhelmingly negative stories that you see on a daily basis, don’t be discouraged, the world is actually becoming a more peaceful place.
Thanks to modern technology, we are able to capture the acts of violence that then get perpetuated and spread throughout the various forms of media, especially social media platforms all over the Internet. It’s not hard to conclude that the world is getting increasingly more dangerous after seeing how much is out there. However, violence and dangerous stories will always be the topics new sources focus on because it’s what sells. Don’t be fooled, media sources want to make money like any other business, and they’ll show what they have to.
In fact, there is statistical evidence that actually shows the world is getting more peaceful, not more violent. Take a look at the image below; the amount of deaths around the world due to war have been decreasing for some time, with only a few spikes since the mid 1940s.
In his 2011 book titled “The Better Angels of Our Nature,” Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker states that the decrease in violence is one of the most significant and underappreciated developments in the history of humanity. Not only does he address the decrease in deaths due to war around the world, but he also discusses the decrease in death due to other forms of violence like murder, capital punishment, torture, and domestic violence.
The image below shows that in regards to violent war, it’s happening in fewer places and becoming more isolated to certain areas, contrary to what the media will tell you.
Recent examples of peace include wars in Iran, Peru, Chad, Angola, Sri Lanka, and Lebanon ending, which is a positive and continuing trend not to be ignored. Although it may not be the most stable, there still remains a cease fire in Ukraine, which is responsible for the spike in war deaths over the last few years.
The Afghanistan government signed a peace deal with Hezb-i-Islami this past September, which marks the first peace deal signed by the Afghanistan government since war with the Taliban erupted in 2001.
In October, thousands of Israeli and Palestinian women marched together in the March of Hope for two weeks. The march ended in front of the Israeli Prime Minister’s home in Jerusalem, and it was done in an attempt to begin peaceful discussions between the two nations once more.
Only a few short weeks ago, the United Nations passed a resolution in which 123 nations voted for a ban on destructive nuclear weapons. Only 38 voted against the resolution, but it’s clear that most want to move away from a future that involves nuclear warfare.
Even in the last few days we’ve seen what things like peaceful protests can achieve. Although the Water Protectors were treated violently, they stayed true to their values of non-violent protests and have achieved nothing short of a major victory in regards to the construction of the Dakota Access Oil Pipeline.
There are examples of peace all over the world, and thankfully this trend is continuing. Before you get bogged down by the violence you see on the news or all over the Internet, remember that it’s what sells; it’s what media sources are going to show you in order to increase viewership or clicks.
Don’t be afraid or lose hope in humanity. Most of us want what’s right.