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  • Writer's pictureJimmy Rex

There's NEVER Been A Better Time To Be Alive...

Updated: Nov 29, 2018

I was in a room full of friends a few weeks ago and one of the girls in the group said, “right now is literally the worst time in the history of the world to be alive.” Some strong words but I asked her why she felt that way and she began giving me all of the reasons:

"The violence, the wars, starvation, the oppression of women, minorities, etc.."

I was trying not to be a jerk but I couldn’t resist.  What I wanted to do was explain to her all of the reasons that she was completely wrong but what came out was, “You might want to pick up a damn history book. Cause you couldn’t be more wrong!”

I happen to be a huge history nerd so I can’t be confused by the news media that creates revenue and income by creating conflict and confusion.  I prefer to know the truth and the truth is this...

In all of history, there has NEVER been a better time to be alive... And it’s not even close!

To give some perspective, let's first take a look at the history of the world and put it into terms that really show just how little time humans have actually been on the earth. If you were to start in LA and go all the way to New York, it would be 2,450 miles. So if we take the timeline of the earth (4.6 billion years according to most scientists) and imagine that trip represents the time span of earth...  

  • You would have to drive all the way to Pennsylvania, 130 miles out, before you would come across dinosaurs.

  • 200,000 years ago or 370 feet out, you would come across the evolution of the first humans.

  • 5500 years ago or 15.7 feet out, you would have the beginning of the recorded history of man. 

  • 2000 years ago Christ was crucified, 5.6 ft on your journey from LA to NY. 

  • 241 years ago the United States declares independence, that would be 8.2 inches

  • The computer age would be 0.8 inches or 25 yrs on your voyage. 

When I learned of this timeline, it helped me to truly understand just how rapidly the earth has developed in the past 100 years.

Let's take a look at the stats surrounding just how good or bad it is to be alive in 2018 and let's start strong and talk about a few times you might not have wanted to be alive for. 

  1. The Raping of Nanking - If you have never studied this you might want to hold off if you want to preserve your innocence. Before and during World War II, you can make a strong argument that the Japanese in this time frame committed the most atrocious of all the crimes committed in the modern world. It is simple and easy to blame the United States for dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but a deep dive into what was going on and it makes a little more sense. The Japanese are a very proud people and they vowed to never surrender.  The US Navy and military had already bombed all of Tokyo and everything else worth bombing to get the Japanese to surrender, but they simply weren’t going to surrender until hundreds of thousands of more American soldiers had been killed and their entire country had been wiped off the map.  That is why and when the US decided to drop the atomic bombs.  So yes, I think living in either of those cities at that time would have been worse than living in 2018.  

You still would have rather been Japanese in Hiromshima 5 feet from ground zero of the blast then to be Chinese or Philippine while the Japanese raped and pillaged your people.  

Here are a few of the facts we know about the “Raping of Nanking.” 

  • The Japanese made Chinese fathers rape their young daughters

  • They made sons rape their mothers and grandmothers

  • They would feed them soup and then later let them know they just ate their young babies

(I know, it’s a lot, history is fun until you realize why the United States sent young men half way around the world to fight a battle they morally couldn’t walk away from.) 

2. The Holocaust - We know that over 6 million Jews were killed in this mass genocide but on top of that 11 million more people were slaughtered for a total of 17 million people.  Read about the holocaust and tell me how you think Donald Trump and Hitler should ever be named in the same sentence. 

  • If you were known to have sex with a Jew, you were slaughtered

  • If you were a gypsie, you were slaughtered

  • If you had a baby while under German control, they would take and do experiments on your baby. 

  • To tell you how widespread it was, after the war over 10,000 Nazi war criminals were executed for how they treated these humans. 

3.   Genghis Khan - Oh boy... 

  • Killed over 40 million people in his reign

4.   Joseph Stalin

  • Killed 40-60 million people

I think you get the idea, the world used to be a very very cruel place to live. In fact, if you just take the past 100 years here are some fun stats about war and conflict:

  • Deaths in World War 1- 16 million 

  • Deaths in World War 2- 80 million

  • Worldwide deaths in 2016 due to war and conflict - 87,500 (147 from the United States)

  •  Deaths in the American Civil War- 650,000 - 750,000 or 2% of the country’s population.  One in every 50 people living in the country at the time

Nevermind the wars and conflict, lets take a quick look at a few of the other stats that compare 2018 with previous times in the earth’s history:

I. Life Expectancy in the United States

  • 1870 - 35.1 years

  •  2018 - 79.2 years 

II.  Life Expectancy in Africa

  • 1925 - 26.4 years

  • 2000 - 50.6 years

  •  2015- 60 years. (This means that just in the past 15 years alone the average person living in Africa will live to be 9.4 years longer)

III. Famines (Lack of food leading to death)

  • 1870’s - 21 million deaths in the world the entire decade since

  • 2010- 225,000 deaths 

IV.  People living in absolute poverty (Less than $2/ day in todays money) 

  • 1820 - 94%

  • 1960 - 65%

  • 2000 - 37%

  • 2017- 9.6% 

If you need more convincing I suggest studying how women and minorities were treated in the Roman Empire, the British Empire, or any other era of time in the history of mankind. Read about what they did with people who fell ill or had a broken bone before the days of anesthetics or surgery.  Read about what happened with people when their teeth hurt or when they fell ill. Pick up a book about the black plague or the dark ages.  Imagine what it would be like to live an entire life and only know 40-50 people in your world. 

We have more information today in our phones than the entire knowledge of all mankind combined knew of prior to the 1900’s. The average person living before 1900 accumulated in a lifetime the equivalent of information that we get in one day’s daily newspaper. 

It is not perfect, but in the history of the world; minorities, religious groups, and women have never had it better than 2018 in the United States of America.  If you still aren’t convinced I’ll just suggest what I did to this girl a few weeks back, “Go pick up a history book!” 

We should be so grateful to be alive in 2018, in a world and a country that allows us the maximum number of benefits to create whatever life we want to have.  The next time you feel oppressed or feel like the world isn’t fair, just know that you have more privilege and more freedom in one day than 96% of the population of the entire world has had in their entire lives. 

It’s a hell of a time to be alive! And it is only getting better.  


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