The end of 2012 was marred by a horrible tragedy in Connecticut. There were several other high profile mass killings in cities ranging from Aurora, Colorado, to Toronto. While these events are tragic, they often distract us from the fact that the world is consistently becoming a better place to live. The world is safer than it has ever been, and despite current economic turmoil, global poverty is in retreat. There are certainly policy improvements that could ameliorate socio-economic conditions in the western world, and there is a lot left to be done to tackle global poverty, but we are on the right trajectory. Nevermind the fiscal cliff, or the perception that the world is becoming more violent (it just isn’t). As you gather with loved ones, remember how lucky you are to live in a world characterized by global cooperation and material abundance. I won’t try to re-invent the wheel, so I’ll leave you with a couple of articles on the subject that are well worth reading.