Remember The Unseen Good

For obvious reasons, it is easy to focus upon and lament the tragedies and disasters that happen than the many more that do not; this goes for both our personal lives and the world at large.

For all the horrible things that happen daily — the fatal automobile accidents and plane crashes, the deaths from disease or senseless violence, the banal acts of insensitivity and apathy — there are numerous unseen and underappreciated counterfactuals: the millions of flights and car trips that come and go without incident, the many people who survive or manage to avoid serious illness or violence, and the small but mounting displays of conscientiousness and kindness.

Cherish each and every occurrence of these things. Take note of the absence of tragedy, disaster, and suffering when it could have otherwise occurred. Every time you see something horrible, whether in your personal life or on the news, keep in mind how many more times those things have probably been averted.

Yes, human suffering in any form or degree should be noted and addressed. But so too should the unseen progress and success. If for nothing else, it gives us something to aspire too: the possibility of as few tragedies and incidents as possible.

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