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Sorta Random Sunday: The Moral Arc of Humanity

Forgive me in advance for going a little deep with this post. And honestly, as I write this I forget where I got the inspiration. But I wish I could remember to give credit where credit is due. Regardless, something placed this idea in my brain and I haven’t been able to get it out…the moral arc of humanity is always pointing upward.

moral arc humanity

The moral arc of humanity is always pointing upward

It’s a pretty simple statement that doesn’t necessarily punch up a ton of impact initially.

But the more I thought about it, the more I really loved it.

And the more hope I felt.

We all know the world is crazy

It always has been crazy. From the start.

But we can’t help but feel like it’s maybe gotten a bit crazier lately. And I’m not making any political, religious, or otherwise divisive statements here.

It’s hard to watch the news. There’s an ongoing pandemic costing millions of lives. People seem to see eye-to-eye on less and less things daily. Violence, whether government sponsored or not, is constantly in our faces.

Regardless of where you stand, you feel it.

And so on…

I think we can all agree that there are times when things seem bleak

But when this happens, we do need to take a step back.

Because like I asserted above, I do believe that the moral arc of humanity is always upwards trending over the long run

There is short term volatility to be sure.

On a daily, weekly, monthly, even yearly basis, there are ups and downs. But if we zoom out and look any the long term, the overall trend is up.

I’m cautious to touch on any very contentious topics. However, just think back to the injustices of the 1960s. Now look back even further to the World Wars and the horrors of the Holocaust, slavery, etc.

Many of these issues still exists in one form or another. Some can argue they have been exacerbated in recent years.

But undoubtedly we are better than 200, 100, 50 years ago…

But what does this really mean?

I’ll tell you what it doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean that we can idly sit by during the short term “volatility” of the world’s craziness.

We have to continue to stand up for what is right on a daily basis to ensure that this trajectory is maintained.

It’s not like passive investing in the stock market while trusting that the overall trend is up.

We need to be active!

But it does help to take a step back and realize that what you are doing is contributing to an overall positive long-term change…

…even if that can be very difficult to feel in the short term.

What do you think? Is the overall moral arc of humanity upward trending? How can we increase the slope? Let me know in the comments below!

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    1 thought on “Sorta Random Sunday: The Moral Arc of Humanity”

    1. From reader Dennis Vargo:

      I think it was MLK who said “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” I agree it is a great quote.

      I think, further, it was presaged by Theodore Parker, a Unitarian minister and American Transcendentalist who called for the abolition of slavery:

      “…I do not pretend to understand the moral universe, the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways…But from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice.”


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