Chris Newcomb, M.Div.
Recently, the British magazine The Spectator published an article claiming that 2012 is the best year in the history of the world! Far-fetched claim? Some would give a resounding 'yes'! Others might say there could be a case for the claim. What do you think? While you ponder the question, here is a brief snapshot of some of the points made in the article. I think you might be pleasantly surprised!
The article starts out with this claim, "Never in the history of the world has there been less hunger, less disease and more prosperity." My first thought was, "Wow! That's an incredible assertion!" The question is: is there any truth to it?
Here is the evidence given:
- "In 1990, the UN announced Millennium Development Goals, the first of which was to halve the number of people in extreme poverty by 2015. It emerged this year that the target was met in 2008.
- Global inequality? This, too, is lower now than any point in modern times. Globalisation means the world’s not just getting richer, but fairer too.
- The average life expectancy in Africa reached 55 this year. Ten years ago, it was 50. The number of people dying from AIDS has been in decline for the last eight years. Deaths from Malaria have fallen by a fifth in half a decade.
- War has historically been humanity’s biggest killer. But in most of the world today, a generation is growing up that knows little of it. The Peace Research Institute in Oslo says there have been fewer war deaths in the last decade than any time in the last century.
- Fifty years ago, the world was breathing a sigh of relief after the Cuban missile crisis. Young couples would discuss whether it was responsible to have children when the future seemed so dark. But now, as we celebrate the arrival of Light into the world, it’s worth remembering that, in spite of all our problems, the forces of peace, progress and prosperity are prevailing."
To be certain, there have been many sad, tragic and devastating events in 2012. Moreover, this article does not diminish the pain and suffering people have experienced throughout 2012. However, there is also lots of good news about this past year. As we close out the year, let us be thankful that in spite of some trying times in 2012 we can say that there are many blessings and good things to come from this year as well!
Here is the link to the full article.