Summer has finally arrived here in Britain and across the rest of the Northern Hemisphere, and the sun is shining at the time of writing. To those of you who are blessed enough to live in countries with abundant sunshine, this might seem unremarkable, and perhaps a trivial thing to say, but please allow me this – as those of you who are familiar with this part of the world will know full-well, we don’t get much of it here!
Having reached the mid-point of 2017, it can thus far be concluded that the year has been one of spectacular highs and spectacular lows, with little in-between. Granted, there could be storm clouds far-off in the distance, but for the time being at least, most national economies are booming. The lights are switching on in cities that continue to grow ever larger and taller across all continents, and millions continue to be lifted out of poverty as living standards improve the world over. In advanced economies, the post-financial crash hangover from last decade appears to have finally been shaken-off – stock markets are booming, wages are rising, and innovative new technologies continue to emerge that are fast making the world a better place to live. All-in-all, business is thriving, and companies and consumers are spending – in many respects, we’ve never had it better.
That being said, where you reside in the world will have much bearing on whether or not you agree with this statement. A number of terrible crises continue to blight the world that have yet to be tackled, and no more is this evident than in large swathes of the Middle East. Events in Syria and Yemen are a genuine tragedy, and history will harshly judge a number of actors who are presently engaged in the region – not that this is any consolation to the populations of these countries. The vile scourge of Daesh, we’ll not talk about – they are undeserving of the attention.
This is why it is so important for those of us who are fortunate enough to live in environments of peace and relative prosperity to acknowledge how blessed we are, and to go about our lives accordingly – do small things to make the lives of others better, and take pleasure in the little things. As the ceaseless terrorist attacks that have claimed the lives of so many innocents should remind us, life is precious and sometimes all too short.