Don’t forget where we came from.
The past 10 years have gotten a bad rap as the “Naughty Aughties” — and deservedly so, it seems, for a decade that began with 9/11 and the Enron scandal and closed with the global financial crisis and the Haiti earthquake. In between, we witnessed the Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, SARS and swine flu, not to mention vicious fighting in Sudan and Congo, Afghanistan and, oh yes, Iraq. Given that our brains seem hard-wired to remember singular tragedy over incremental success, it’s a hard sell to convince anyone that the past 10 years are worthy of praise.
But these horrific events, though mortal and economic catastrophes for many millions, don’t sum up the decade as experienced by most of the planet’s 6-billion-plus people. For all its problems, the first 10 years of the 21st century were in fact humanity’s finest, a time when more people lived better, longer, more peaceful, and more prosperous lives than ever before.
Read the whole thing at Foreign Policy.