In commonly held micro-view it appears that we are all competing individually in a zero sum game which tends to depress most people upon pondering, but that belies the fact that we are more and more interdependent each day as globalism entrenches further into societies nearly everywhere. My iPhone represents a cooperation of thousands of people and dozens of countries into a seamless culturally adaptable device that connects me to the vast international digital network which in turn connects everyone else to myself and my part of the world & culture as well.
In the macro-view we can also fail to see the potential: we have a limited supply of everything & humans tend to be destructive and cruel… but that would also belie the historical trends & actual numbers on the ground. Once you shuffle off the talking heads & their statistics, you find some interesting things. Humans are much more humane nowadays on the whole; equality is spreading. Disagree? 300 years ago: slavery globally. There may be more slaves now (human trafficking), but it isn't more slaves PER PERSON, a vital distinction. The status of women and all minorities is also testament to this.
What about starvation?? Food shortages?? Well, we actually have enough food being made for 10 times the amount of people; it's just we are using that food for fuel nowadays. STILL: Food shortages???? There's also proof that our farming and grazing practices create deserts. There are NEW practices emerging that cooperate with nature rather than fight it to great success. Farming without irrigation, tilling & fertilizer is emerging globally with extremely high yields, and it is a result of…. COOPERATION GLOBALLY that the ideas have been able to come to fruition in Permaculture & all the new farming practices like it. The creativity of the world gestalt is speeding up.
Why? Simply because people exchanging information creates innovation & micro-competition pans out globally as macro-cooperation. Humans are the ultimate adaptors; we can't help it. The modern age's problems & issues are both not as bad as they seem in canned statistics and opportunities for growth & progress universally. Look past the hype & the power grab of opinion & fear which doesn't help anyone do anything.
Instead we need to embrace the cooperative refinement, move past "grades" which are static indicators in a fluid system of progress & thus not good indicators of growth (seeing as the test itself also changes perception as it is being taken). We need to focus on performance, Why/How explanations/demonstrations, & oral/aural assessments. Only then will learning leave the rote feedback memory/regurgitation machine behind.