Letter From the Editor

Joelle Nelson, Co-Editor in Chief

From President Donald Trump to the Las Vegas shooting, everything seems to have gone horribly, irrevocably wrong.

We dream of the sepia-toned past when everything just made sense and was better. Shootings, terrorist plots were the stuff of horror fiction.   Depression and suicide was rare.  No one minded that you “liked” someone’s week-old Instagram post.

Well, I’m tired of hearing how terrible the modern era is. The truth is that yes, there are horrible things going on in the world right now, but by no means is this an unusual occurrence in the course of human history. In fact, I would argue that the modern era, the last ten years, even today, is the best it has ever been.

The issues of race, politics, economics, violence, and gender expression are nothing new. They are human issues. What has changed is how we deal with them.

Today we debate the appropriateness of Confederate statues, but only 54 years ago Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I have a dream…” speech to a segregated nation. We’ve made significant steps toward improving equity. Long, agonizingly slow ones, but compared to where we were decades ago, they are monumental.

Sometimes we lose sight of where we started when looking towards the finishing line, but that doesn’t mean we can backpedal.

Yet, I see that same mentality whenever someone shows me something like teenage internet addiction. Since the invention of the smartphone, concerned parents bemoan, teenagers have never looked up from their screens, as if returning to a time when the iPhone didn’t exist is somehow the solution.

In 2015 the CDC (Center for Disease Control) reported the lowest-ever level of teenage risk behavior. This is positive progress.

I have had enough of the apocalyptic overtones of today’s society. We are lucky to live in the modern age.

Millenial women can expect the smallest wage gap of any generation before them, earning more money, on average, than their mothers.

In 2017, Congress recorded the highest number of female members ever, with 101 in the House of Representatives and 21 in the Senate.

Americans rank 26th in the world for life expectancy, live in the richest country on Earth, can vote for change, rank 17th out of 40 countries in education. If you attend Campolindo, you enjoy the highest level of educational services in the country (176th in the nation and 25th in the state).

As of October, 195 countries have signed the Paris Climate Agreement. Though the US has withdrawn, mayors of the largest cities in America have vowed to uphold the agreement regardless, as they account for 70% of America’s greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2014, UNESCO reported that the world reached a literacy rate of 84.1%, compared to a paltry 56% in the 1950’s. This represents a trend worldwide, leading to more opportunities for women and the impoverished. Children’s rates are even higher, meaning that this trend continues even today.

The list goes on.

My point is, we shouldn’t adopt the sort of fatalistic mentality I’ve seen of late, that the world is ending. Although we are far from finished, we need to remind ourselves that there is much progress to celebrate.