It's hard to deny that things are becoming increasingly challenging here on Earth. Many of us are struggling through economic hardships comparable to that of the great depression, while others live every day in fear for their life as the place that they call home is now an active war zone. No matter the intensity of your individual story, we all face challenges and thanks to the mainstream media beast we are all also constantly thrust with negative story after negative story -with the occasional irrelevant pop culture distraction tossed in every couple of minutes.
Despite this, I still choose to stand on the glass is half full side of the spectrum. I strongly believe that deep down we are all hard wired to not only survive and thrive here on planet Earth, but also to come together and recognize the interconnectedness that we all share.
Here are 8 reasons why I have hope in the world and I believe that you should too:
1. Our Charitable Donations
Despite a great number of our financial situations worsening year by year, the amount that we globally donate to recognized charitable organizations that we believe in continues to grow. According to charitynavigator.org, total giving in 2013 was $335.17 billion, an increase of 4.4% from 2012 and the fourth straight year that the total has risen from that of the previous. What's even more remarkable is that 72% of that came from individuals, and only 5% came from corporate giving accounts. This shows me that no matter how difficult things become we still do everything we can to support what we believe in.
2. Increase In Vocal Activists
Whether it be an otherwise unknown 15-year-old girl taking a powerful stance against GMOs, or a globally recognized celebrity speaking as a UN messenger of peace at the 2014 climate summit, more and more people are vocally standing for what they believe in. The issues of the world are becoming increasingly apparent that they need to truly be solved and thanks to these daring voices they are quickly becoming impossible to ignore. Whether or not you personally agree with the message each of these activists are delivering it's still empowering to see their willingness to vocalize it passionately.
3. Growth In Alternative Media
Flashback just a couple of years and websites -such as our own -were something that primarily served a niche market, with a number of others regularly following the content, but refusing to admit to it publicly. Today, millions upon millions of people are openly reading, sharing, liking, retweeting and connecting with one another through alternative media sources -sources that inspire people to think outside of the box and challenge the mainstream. Being on the backend of one of these resources, I can honestly say that it truly feels like we are moving towards a global tipping point where awareness will force the hand of those in power to fully disclose everything.
4. Number Of Protests & Revolutions Worldwide
To many, the idea of a protest or revolution may seem scary, and understandably so as the mainstream media does a pretty damn good job at making them seem that way. But what is a protest at its core? A group of people coming together to stand for something that they believe in, in hopes of building enough awareness to inspire and create lasting change.
To better get a grasp of the power in protesting I encourage you to either google the March Against Monsanto, or to read this piece on the 10 Protests That Changed The World.
5. Amazing Projects Already Underway
Even though most of us go through our daily lives based on the status quo, there are an increasing number of individuals and groups that have come together to build awareness and be a living example of the change they wish to see. Individuals such as Kip Anderson, who documented his journey to uncover the most destructive industry facing the planet today in his film Cowspiracy. Groups such as The Valhalla Movement, who are dedicated to inspiring sustainability and self-reliance through collaborative action. No matter their focus, each of these individuals/groups are actively doing what they are passionate about, rather than waiting for the world to give them support or "permission."
6. Growth & Limitless Potential Of Alternative Energy
Alternative energy sources are a regularly occurring subject here at Collective Evolution and for good reason, the vast majority of us have awoken to the reality that we cannot continue to power our lives with the traditional methods we currently rely upon. In response to this, several globally accepted alternatives, such as solar power, continue to rapidly grow with a solar system being installed an average of every 4 minutes in 2013 by comparison to every 80 minutes in 2006. (source)
7. Our Response In Times Of Need
Whether it be something as catastrophic as Hurricane Katrina was on the city of New Orleans or something as local as a child getting hurt while riding their bike, the vast majority of us seem to have an innate desire to help in any way that we can. Even though some of us may suppress this, we often can't help but at the very least feel empathetic for the individual(s) dealing with hardship. I like to look at the incredible rescue, support and rebuild efforts that are happening daily worldwide as a bright glimmer of hope and an even brighter glimmer of the potential we have to come together and right this ship called Earth.
8. We All Cry
This may seem like a very sappy ending to an otherwise hopefully empowering list, but for me one of the greatest symbols of hope in this world is that we all cry. Yes, many of us suppress this as well -due in large part to beliefs such as "men don't cry" or "crying is for the weak" -but the truth is we all have tears within us. Tears that when shed, reveal not only how human we can all be, but also how interconnected we all are. Whether all it takes is a touching story/movie to get your waterworks going, the passing of a close friend or relative or a joyous moment such as the birth of a child we all have a breaking point. This breaking point shows me that no matter how tough our skin may be on the outside, when push comes to shove we all have a softer side that is ready to be a part of fixing this world.