Wonderful World pt 2: Little heroes of the big picture

The Link: 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 minutes

The Story:

Trevor Macy has a funny straight-faced blog called DIY Superhero where he details how to become a caped crimefighter, one post at a time.  I love it.  It makes me think of how superheroes relate to real life.

You’re never really going to be Batman, but the world is full of everyday heroes like nurses, firefighters, and teachers.  A lot of little heroes makes a big difference.

With all the terrible events on the news every single day, it’s easy to think the world’s going to Hell in a handbasket.  But looking at the numbers gives a better understanding of the big picture.  Literacy, life expectancy, and prosperity are at higher levels around the world now than ever before.  There have always been terrible things in the world, but the farther back in history you go, the more life was poor, nasty, brutish, and short.  (But not really solitary).

Like I said before: We may not always fully appreciate it, but living in the twenty-first century is awesome.

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Wonderful World pt 1: “You’re sitting in a CHAIR in the SKY!” …”Yeah, but it doesn’t lean back very far.”

The Link: Louis C.K. and the miracle of flight

The Story:

Louis C.K. has a comedy routine that sums up my feelings: “Everything’s amazing but nobody’s happy.”  I grew up in a house below the flight path that planes took while descending to the runway.  All those years, it never occurred to me how weird it was that there were people from around the world flying above my head several times a day.

We’re surrounded by the most excellent things in history, but we take them for granted. Psychologists say that people tend to get inured to their situation because of “regression to the mean.” (Yale psychologist Paul Bloom gives a good but lengthy explanation of the science of happiness.)

But it’s important to appreciate what’s right under our noses.

Like Louis Armstrong said, it really is a wonderful world.