Can the world change? There are many people I know who have lost all hope that the world can improve from its current state. This pessimism can be seen in many forms. I know people who think Christianity is beyond redemption and will never change. Others I know look at the American politics and say they are unpatriotic. They have no hope that America will ever live up to the ideals it proclaims.
This all seems so sad to me. I may be an extreme optimist, but I believe the world can change. As a matter of fact, I believe the world is changing and will change for the better. Compare today to one hundred years ago. Look how far the whole world has grown in terms of women’s rights and the rights of minorities. There’s also heating and air conditioning; those things are pretty awesome. Clearly the world has become a better place in the last hundred years. It’s not perfect, and there are places where certain rights and luxuries are still unavailable. Just because something changes does not mean it morphs into an image of perfection.
Our society is human. As such, it can change, improve and become better, but it will never be perfect. Since perfect is unreachable, does that make all efforts to change the world meaningless?
In our globalized, fast paced world, we see change happen daily. New technology, new politicians, new box office hits. There is always something new and better to great us the next day. I think people get used to this pace and become frustrated when other aspects of life, such as society, changes at a different speed.
When women gained the right to vote in American, did society suddenly start treating women as equals and respect their opinions? Of course not. Generations passed and gradually, society became more accepting of women’s rights. That struggle for women’s rights will always exist in some form or another, but that struggle also changed the world for the better. That struggle has meaning and purpose. Thank God for the women who first started to demand equality. Those who started the movement probably experienced very little equality for the duration of their lives.
Maybe that’s what truly discourages people. We fight and struggle to change the world all the while knowing we probably won’t be around when what we fight for is fully realized. Laws can be passed and governments can be overthrown, but that doesn’t change people’s hearts.
That also doesn’t make the fight meaningless and it certainly doesn’t mean the world can’t change. It just can’t change very fast. The hard truth is that generations have to pass away for view points to morph. As every generation passes away, we see greater acceptance of diverse sexualities. It’s really a double-edged sword, because each generation has their merits, some of which we may lose as they pass on. So the cycle will continue and we will never reach perfection.
Let me pose the question to you, then. If society is always changing with no chance of reach perfection, what is that change worth?
Do you believe the world can change? Can people change? If they do, does that change matter?