Optimist’s Corner – The World is Becoming a Better Place – Slowly

Data visualization is a tough thing to do really well – in fact this is one of the essential 21st Century Skills in extremely short supply today.

But the world is slowly becoming a much better place to live and this outstanding video by Hans Rosling shows it clearly and with a great narrative.

Take a couple of minutes and you will get a measure of hope that over the long haul life continues to improve for the vast majority of humanity.

This kind of story telling is what great teachers do well. I hope a few pick this up and have some interesting discussions with their students in the new year. I know I’m going to watch this with my own kids who are home for the holidays. Topics will include their role in continuing this trend and potential threats to it.

I just finished reading Bill Bryson’s sprawling account of how our homes have evolved over time – At Home A Short History of Private Life – and it made this story resonate even more for me. So much of what makes our lives healthy today has only been discovered in the last 150 years, and most of it in the last 90.

In one sense the world is as old as dirt. But in many others people are toddlers – just figuring out our way around this place. That is what gives me hope. This video makes that hope real and concrete.