It’s amazing to me how differently people see the world. Some look for the best in things, and some look for the worst.
From a statistical point of view, the world is way better than most people tend to believe. There are certainly many problems to be solved, but we’ve never had a better place to live.
Even things like sex trafficking, which is no doubt a horrendous and evil crime, is far less prevalent than the news would lead you to believe. Two examples of that:
“123 missing children found in Michigan during sex trafficking operation”
That was the headline, but the details were less exciting. Of the 123 children that were “found”, 119 of them were safe at home and the police simply updated their list. One was missing and was found, and three were “possible” trafficking victims. It’s fantastic that they were found, but “possibly 3” vs 123 is quite a difference.
“Trucker Named Highway Angel for Discovering Human Traffickers with Caged Children”
A trucker saw a pickup truck with “kids in cages” that were “being trafficked”, and claims that “several of the children were reported missing”. Turns out it was just a family who had their kids sleeping in the bed of the truck. Unsafe, for sure, but miles away from the sensational headline.
For some reason, many people choose to believe that the world is far worse than it really is, and I don’t understand it. We certainly need to be vigilant against evil, but the evil is far less pervasive than you might think.
Rather than “looking for signs of trafficking” in an airport and accusing a black man of trafficking his own children or reporting a woman for being a different ethnicity than her child, we need to do the boring work to make things better. There have been zero confirmed cases of a child being abducted by a stranger and flown out of the US to be trafficked, but there are thousands of children that run away from awful home situations and end up even worse. It’s fun to think of being a hero that breaks up some big international trafficking ring, but donating money to a local organization that helps with family stabilization will be 1000x more effective in fighting the real problem.
In his classic book “The Go-Giver“, author Bob Burg sums it up like this:
Go looking for people to take advantage of you, and they generally will. See the world as a dog-eat-dog place, and you’ll always find a bigger dog looking at you as if you’re his next meal. Go looking for the best in people, and you’ll be amazed at how much talent, ingenuity, empathy and goodwill you’ll find. “Ultimately, the world treats you more or less the way you expect to be treated.”
I’m not advocating that you put on rose-colored glasses and pretend that all is well. There is much work to be done, and I hope you’ll join in making things even better. However, it’s worth knowing how things really are rather than drumming up doom and gloom to try to make a point that doesn’t even exist.