Setting the stage for the Integral Spotlight series, Daily Evolver host Jeff Salzman cuts through the anxiety and cynicism so many of us feel in today’s postmodern malaise and makes a compelling case for hope, optimism, and the triumphant progress of the human spirit, as well as the ongoing increase of goodness, truth, and beauty in the world.

Looking at the nightly news, what do we see? War, terrorism, economic collapse, increasing ecological destabilization, horrifying massacres in our schools, and a political system that is either too gridlocked or too corrupt to do anything about any of it. If we believe the headlines, human history is collapsing under its own bloated weight, and all that’s left to do is to entertain ourselves while we watch the world burn.

But wait—is it possible that not only is our world not coming apart at the seams, but it is actually getting better? 

That despite the very real and very heartbreaking tragedies that continue to occur across the planet, our world is actually getting safer? That despite the perpetual doomsaying and fear mongering we hear from the 24-hour news cycle, there is actually less violence and less suffering today than ever before in human history?

It’s clear that we are facing an enormous number of challenges, and that these challenges are more difficult than any we’ve ever faced. But they are also better than any we’ve ever faced—they are better problems, requiring even better solutions… which will in turn lead to even better and more difficult problems… and onward goes the evolutionary two-step into an ever-deepening, increasingly better future.

One thing seems clear: in order to find these better solutions, we need a better story. We’ve already heard the old stories–they’ve been retold and rehashed and rebooted more times than we can count, and the tremendous depth and meaning and wonder of the universe has been thoroughly flattened and deconstructed in a fit of self-indulgent irony.

Well, we’ve had enough. It’s time to pick up the pieces, put them back together again, and tell a new story about who we are and where we are going. A better story. An integral story.

–Written by Corey W. devas