Is It Really That Bad? A Historical Perspective on Today’s Challenges


On this show…we’re asking ourselves the question, is it really that bad? As we strive to gain a historical perspective on some of today’s challenges. It’s easy to jump on the negative train and pump up the steam engine with your own parroted two cents. But before you know it, the train and the topic have jumped tracks and you aren’t even sure where you’re going or what you’re talking about. Before you join in the chant of “it’s never been this bad”, take a deep dive into history to gain some insight and an alternative perspective. Looking back at history isn’t just about old stories—it’s about learning how we’ve tackled challenges before, seeing what worked, and using that wisdom to navigate today’s ups and downs smarter. It’s like having a treasure map of experiences that can guide us toward better decisions and brighter futures. So, let’s dig in, learn from the past, and build a tomorrow we can be proud of together!

I’ve said it before, I love reading historical fiction. Biographical fiction too but historical fiction gives you new characters living during historical events. I find myself saying…” Whoa, we’ve come a long way baby!” But I think that is so important because if you just read the news or talk around the water cooler, your outlook might be far different. Instead of adopting this narrative, push back and ask – Is this really the worst time in history for _____? Maybe you aren’t sure. Do the research. Dig into the details. Come to the conclusion yourself. 

It’s true, not all history is positive but it is relevant. Human beings have made mistakes throughout human history. We’ve failed, learned, grown, and evolved. The only way to make sure we don’t repeat past mistakes is to learn from them. The only way to learn is to research. Take an active part in your narrative by doing the work. 

Paul Ratner presents Harvard professor’s study identifies the worst year in human history found at Big Think

Rachel Sharp gives us a reality check on the Daily Mail, ​​Think 2020 was the most stressful year EVER? Think again….. historians say it was only the EIGHTH worst time to live through in US history

Louis CK on Collin O’Brien 12 years ago, posted on Youtube – Everything is amazing & Nobody is happy

Gregg Levoy suggests Zooming Out: The Power of Putting Things in Perspective found at Psychology Today

History is crucial for putting today’s challenges into perspective for several reasons:

Understanding Patterns and Cycles: History shows that many challenges are cyclical. Economic recessions, social unrest, and political upheaval have occurred repeatedly throughout history. Recognizing these patterns helps us understand that current challenges are not unique and can provide insights into potential solutions.

Learning from the Past: By studying how previous generations addressed their problems, we can identify strategies that worked and those that didn’t. This can help inform current decision-making and policy development.

Gaining Context: Historical context helps us see the broader picture. For example, technological advancements, medical breakthroughs, and social progress often emerge from periods of significant challenge. Understanding this can help us appreciate the potential for positive outcomes from today’s struggles.

Building Resilience: Knowing that humanity has faced and overcome significant challenges in the past can be reassuring. It fosters a sense of resilience and optimism that we can navigate current difficulties.

Avoiding Repetition of Mistakes: History provides valuable lessons on the consequences of certain actions and decisions. By studying these, we can avoid repeating past mistakes and work towards more effective solutions.

Appreciating Progress: Comparing the present to the past highlights the progress we’ve made. Advances in technology, healthcare, human rights, and living standards become more apparent, providing a balanced view that acknowledges both current challenges and achievements.

Inspiring Innovation: Historical examples of innovation and problem-solving can inspire new approaches and creative solutions to today’s challenges.

Fostering Empathy and Understanding: Learning about the struggles and triumphs of people from different times and places helps build empathy and a broader understanding of the human experience.

By placing today’s challenges within a historical framework, we gain a more nuanced and comprehensive understanding of our current situation and can approach problems with a more informed and balanced perspective.

CHALLENGE: Let’s rewrite the narrative: While today’s challenges seem daunting, history reveals that every era has faced its trials and triumphs. By embracing our past, we gain perspective on our progress and the resilience needed to shape a brighter future together.

I Know YOU Can Do It!