3 Ways the Modern World Destroys Your Joy, Hope, and Faith in Everything

Joe Forrest
11 min readAug 1, 2022

Let’s say you invented a time machine.

But this time machine can only move in one direction through time: Backwards.

Therefore, if you use the machine, there’s no coming back. So, here’s the question:

Where would you go?
When would you choose to live?

This inquiry is more complex than it initially appears. Strip the romanticism from any era of history, and you’re left with the unsettling reality that the fate of human society has often been at the mercy of disease, famine, and warfare — forces entirely outside the control of the average person.

In The Better Angels of Our Nature, Steven Pinker writes,

“It is easy to forget how dangerous life used to be, how deeply brutality was once woven into the fabric of daily existence. Cultural memory pacifies the past, leaving us with pale souvenirs whose bloody origins have been bleached away.”

Or, in the words of Thomas Hobbes, life — in the not-too-distant past — was “nasty, brutish, and short.”

If you want to “practice gratitude,” study history. Nothing will reframe your perspective on the “good ‘ole days” quite like an honest appraisal of what our ancestors used to accept as…



Joe Forrest

Joe Forrest writes on the intersection of faith, culture, secularism, and politics.