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Chapter 1: The Uncomfortable Truth

We are a culture in need not of peace or prosperity or new hood ornaments for our electrical cars. We have all that. We are a culture in need of hope.

In the origin of hope lies the constant avoidance of the Uncomfortable Truth of Life—beyond a small group of people for an extremely brief period of time, little of what you say or do will ever matter.

We can’t accept that all we care about means nothing. Our psyche needs hope to survive. If nothing matters, why do anything at all? Something needs to matter to give life meaning. So we believe we’re here for a reason, that it’s worthy to help at least one person. The imagined sense of importance gives us hope and a purpose to live.

And yet, an irrational sense of hopelessness is spreading across the developed world. This is the Paradox of Progress. We are the safest and the most prosperous humans in the history of the world, yet we’re feeling more hopeless than ever before and report low levels of life satisfaction. We already have all the material goods we could want, but regardless, we are desperate for things to get better.

Actions to take

Principles to follow