By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – If you’re reading this, you’re obviously someone who follows the news closely.

And since the old axiom of what news is persists – that a million safe plane landings aren’t news but the one that crashes is – it’s not hard to come away from the daily news flow feeling as if the glass is not only half-empty, but bone dry and shattered on the floor waiting to cut your feet.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

Bad news has always circled the globe while good news is still getting dressed, but the bad vibes have been made worse by the internet, which wraps bad news in a magnifying blanket of angry opinion, sarcasm, and wild speculation.

So it may come as a shock to you to hear the following, from the editors of the Spectator magazine of Britain:

“It may not feel like it, but 2012 has been the greatest year in the history of the world…. Never has there been less hunger, less disease or more prosperity. The West remains in the economic doldrums, but most developing countries are charging ahead, and people are being lifted out of poverty at the fastest rate ever recorded. The death toll inflicted by war and natural disasters is also mercifully low. We are living in a golden age.”

The magazine goes on to detail other ways in which more people than ever before are living longer, more safely, and with a better quality of life.

It’s all in how you look at things, I guess, and there’s an important life lesson there.

Whatever your views on the public-policy issues raised in the aftermath of the Connecticut school murders, I bet most people have shared a feeling of gratitude for basic things like the love and health of family members after absorbing that horror.

It’s like getting the power back on after a week without it – you suddenly place new value on the simple pleasures of heat, light, and a hot shower.

Perspective is everything, and as much as we may try to provide that along with the daily news, it sometimes takes a larger step back to give us context.

So next time the news gets you down, remember: “2012 has been the greatest year in the history of the world.”

And be grateful that this, warts and all, is the time we live in.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

Jon Keller


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