We live in a world of reliable miracles

In 1820, nearly 84 percent of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty (roughly less than $1.90 per day per person). In 1981, according to the World Bank, that number was still 42 percent. Today, it’s hovering around 8 percent.

Also in 1820, 90 percent of the world’s population was illiterate. Today that number is inverted: 90 percent can read.

Since 1990, an additional 2.6 billion people have secured access to clean water.

And in 1990, zero percent of the world’s population had access to the World Wide Web. By 2020, more than half will.

In other words, the people around us are healthy and long-lived. They have words to read and videos to watch. The water is clear and blue. Food is plentiful and delicious. And the soundtrack—whether it’s piped in through the latest medical technology or just an ordinary pair of earbuds—is gorgeous.