Rightly or wrongly, I do not watch the news. I find it disturbing and disheartening to see the negativity and violence. Cultivating a joyful life for me, does not include following news about violence. When I read this post from one of my all-time favourite bloggers ‘Downward Facing Doc’ (we share a deep interest in meditation and integrative medicine), it was promising to read. I’d like to share it with my readers.
While it seems like our world is becoming more dangerous, the data show quite the opposite. The trend line shows an accelerated reduction in violence from prehistory that continues into the 21 st century.
I’m reading “The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined” by Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker. Pinker uses a detailed analysis of data regarding violent deaths including murder, and all varieties of strife from small riots to world wars to show, beyond a doubt, that the world is becoming safer and safer. A big part of Pinker’s argument centers around the development of global pro-social emotional capacity that is exemplified by the work of positive psychology and the cross pollination of western psychology and Buddhism (mindfulness). Key leaps occurred with the invention of printing, which resulted in exchange of ideas and increased capacity for perspective taking and empathy as well as commerce, which made rivals…
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