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September 23, 2019 / Congau


There seems to be progress in the world. Technology is being developed at an ever-faster rate. Everything is getting bigger, stronger and quicker. So there is progress, they say. Well, progress of course means improvement, and whenever something gets better, there is progress at least in that area; a faster computer is progress as far as the speed of computers goes.

But how would we measure progress in the world as a whole? You could list all new inventions and count them as improvement and then you could subtract all the new problems you see emerging, from climate change to rising crime, and whatever you choose to emphasize more would for you be an indication of progress or regress.

But why would you choose one particular element as your measure? What makes something more important? What would make the world a better or a worse place?

Only one thing is good in itself; there is one thing we all want: Happiness. Or if you are not comfortable with that word, we can call it well-being which means exactly the same. Is there more or less happiness and well-being in the world today than at another point in history. If yes, there has been progress.

Of course it’s still your choice what deserves to be emphasized, but at least it indicates a direction for what might be considered more relevant. (Flying to the moon may not count as progress in this overall perspective.)

How are you? How are we? This simple question is usually quite meaningless when asked in the daily casual way, but when taken seriously it’s the most meaningful question there is. How do you feel? How do you think mankind feels? Better or worse? I would challenge anyone to find a more important question than that when meditating on the state of the world. Answer that question and we can start talking about progress.


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  1. mirnaabdulaal / Sep 23 2019 5:10 pm

    love this!

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