Appreciate that optimism is on at least two levels. Include the recent Human Security Center data in your meta optimism. Look a newspaper or the TV news and it is easy to conclude that the world is becoming more violent and chaotic. A study by the Human Security Center at the University of British Columbia reported in October, 2005 that the opposite is the case. Since the end of the Cold War:
~the number of wars has been declining
~the average number of deaths per conflict has declined from 37,000 in 1950 to 600 in 2002
~the number of conflicts declined by 40% and is at the lowest number since 1976
~the number of democracies in the world has been increasing

Why the favorable trend? The researchers speculate that
~democracies are far less likely to go to war
~there is a strengthening sense of an international community
~interventions and world opinion are constraining many despots
~the Nuremberg trials and cases against Milosevic and Taylor have had an impact
~the UN and the world has learned lessons from failed interventions and are now more skilled at interventions

To their reasons I would add that:
~the world is becoming economically interdependent
~the Internet and cell phones are making information more difficult to suppress
~China, with one-fourth of the world's population, is evolving from a world threat to a more democratic, less isolated country.

I am not trying to make any Republican or Democratic political statement or suggest complacency. I am suggesting that as the Beatles song says, "I've got to admit it's getting better. It's getting better all the time." Most people think of optimism in terms of things that immediately impact them, e.g., Will today be a good day? Will my career improve? I would like to suggest that we also have a meta level of optimism--a perspective on whether the world is a friendly place and whether the world is getting better or worse. It is comforting to learn that there is solid data supporting a meta optimistic view that the world is getting better--that mankind is succeeding in making the world a better place.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Michael Brickey, America’s preeminent Anti-Aging Psychologist, teaches people to think, feel, look and be more youthful. He is an inspiring keynote speaker and Oprah-featured author. His works include: Defy Aging, 52 baby steps to Grow Young, and Reverse Aging (anti-aging hypnosis CDs. Visit for a free report on anti-aging secrets and his free Defy Aging Newsletter with practical anti-aging tips. Hear him interview leading anti-aging experts and/or read the interview transcripts with the anti-aging experts.

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