I think most people do the best they can with what they have to work with and still probably don't always make the best of decisions. That is the path I chose for my protagonist in my novel Misunderstood. Though tragedy struck early on, there was a long period in his life where many things went right for him, but as we all know nothing can go well forever, especially in reality.
With a world full of tragedy it can be difficult to find hope. But I can remember when hope was more prevalent and I still see it on the faces of many parents today, even if they keep a closer eye on their children than parents once felt a need to. There was a time where riding a bicycle five miles to a friend's house unaccompanied was not a big deal. A time where riding a single mile to play PAC-MAN on an arcade machine at a convenience store for a quarter that was earned picking up cans alongside the road was the highlight of my week.
But the world turned, I got older and somewhere along the way kids started killing kids regularly. Crime shows on television became popular. Darwinizing culture became popular. One-up-manship and outdoing the other guy for the sake of just being able to do it seemed to become the rule rather than the exception. (Not that any of them are related.)
I look at my country and I am not so sure I am as proud of it as I once was. I still find it better than any other place I know to go, but I have concerns about our future, especially when the future of our children's success has been built on credit. Someone is going to have to pay for that debt someday soon.
Atop all that, in some corners of the planet, the terminology has already changed from climate change to climate displacement as sea level rise is beginning to affect lower lying areas. An article the other day from Australia mentioned that governments would soon be forced into deciding where to move population centers as climate change displaces them. I can't imagine cities along the coast of America having to be relocated inland, let alone people having to give up already purchased land to utilitarian views (greatest good for the greatest number served) but that day is coming. We better start the conversation soon in these United States and stop bickering about who is in control. The longer we do nothing, the less control we will have of the choices still within our grasp.
While I sometimes long for those days of playing PAC-MAN and riding my bicycle carelessly to see friends, I recognize those days are gone now, but I still have hope. As a nation we must begin to change and to recognize the world we once knew as children is changing as well. We must make better decisions about the future within our changing world.