Every time we pick up our phones, there is evidence that our world is deteriorating. Everything is chalked up to society’s problems: climate change, destabilization of democracy, the threat of nuclear war, the economy…
It’s a miracle how things hold together. And the fear of it falling apart is always looming in the back of our minds. No one wants to go back to the way things were, and yet at the same time, most are dissatisfied with the way things are. It can become a toxic relationship to open up your phone and see things not getting better.
Progress is hard to measure day-to-day. We often don’t see it in ourselves much less in the world around us. Which means we need to find a different way to measure. Progress at the macroscale can be seen in the micro. The school teacher goes the extra mile to help a student understand the value of algebra or the person stops by their neighbors just to check in. Millions upon millions of these small kind acts happen every day.
Perhaps the way we can measure progress is not to wait for someone in the world to step up but instead, we can step up to the world around us.