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A Case for Being Optimistic About the Future

Photo by NASA via Unsplash

Last updated on July 27, 2022

As you read about the increase in COVID-19 cases or the plethora of crimes present in our world, it becomes increasingly difficult to be optimistic. It is harder still when the people around you are constantly talking about all these cynical topics. However, you don’t have to join the ranks of the pessimists. In fact, it’s especially essential to be optimistic when there is negativity surrounding you. Therefore, we should be optimistic about the future because of technological advancements and the societal benefits it offers.

It is shown that, with the progress made in terms of technology and science, society will be able to create a better country and a better set of communities going forward. In the New York Times article “Tired of Plastic? These Businesses Have Ideas for You”, Troy Swope, the chief executive of Footprint, a company that creates fiber-based alternatives to single-use plastics, stated, “We’re fortunate enough that we aren’t seeing anyone say, ‘I’m not worried about sustainability.’ If anything, we’ve seen an acceleration.” Although bioplastics have not been perfected yet, researchers are making an effort to view plastic from a long-term, sustainable perspective. They not only recognize the benefits of plastic use but also its drawbacks. Somewhere in their efforts to solve these liabilities while also recognizing plastic’s importance in society’s lives, could be the key to the future of plastics.

Additionally, as stated by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Professor Eric Martinot, the senior research director with the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies in Tokyo, overviewed how “the data shows that investment in renewables is a key example of the current growth and expected trajectory. Renewable energy investment is predicted to double if not by 2020, then by 2040.” As society becomes more invested in the topic of clean energy, there is an indisputable need for reduced emissions from current infrastructure. Consumer demand for renewable energy solutions from the economical perspective is now needed more than ever to hasten the transition to a better environment and a better future.

In addition to the myriad technological advancements being made, numerous improvements in society are also in the works. In the New York Times article “Extreme Poverty Has Been Sharply Cut. What Has Changed?”, the United Nations set a goal to decrease poverty levels, and “by 2015, the share of the world’s population living in extreme poverty fell to 12 percent from 36 percent in 1990…more than a billion people around the world climbed out of extreme poverty, surpassing the goal.” Eliminating poverty has become a widespread movement in recent years, and communities worldwide are contributing to its decrease. Although the economic environment is rapidly changing, by measuring poverty levels, less-developed countries can effectively build secure, balanced, and sustainable living conditions for all their citizens. 

Furthermore, as stated by The Wall Street Journal, crime rates in the past were much worse than they are today, and “violence has been in decline for thousands of years, and today we may be living in the most peaceable era in the existence of our species.” As one develops awareness about the decline of violence, the world begins to look different. The past“violence has been in decline for thousands of years, and today we may be living in the most peaceable era in the existence of our specie becomes less guiltless, and the present becomes less evil. For all the hardships life presents, the decline of violence is not only an accomplishment that society as a whole can savor but also something that society must preserve and maintain for future generations. 

Conversely, although being optimistic about the future has its benefits, author Frieder R. Lang, Ph.D., of the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany argues that “being overly optimistic in predicting a better future can be associated with a greater risk of disability and death within the following decade.” Having a certain level of pessimism about the future may encourage people to live more carefully, taking much-needed health and safety precautions. Although this could potentially be true, a happy-ever-after ending is not guaranteed. The future is dependent on society’s actions. The people must believe in a better world and fight for it. To make initiate progress, we must have an optimistic view of what the world can be and believe in the possibility of advancement.

Ultimately, because of recent technological advancements and positive societal impacts, being optimistic about the future is critical and of utmost importance. The world is becoming a better place due to science and technology, delivering innovative and progressive solutions to numerous problems. For most people in most places, life in 2022 will be objectively better than it was in 2000. One thing society can implement, as the next decade approaches, is to reject pessimism and instead embrace optimism based on facts and a belief in human originality. Our actions – what we do, what we fight for, and what we believe in – have always mattered, and they will continue to do so in the future. 

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