Top 3 Books that will Give you Hope for the Future 

Hope for the future

We live in a time where many people are very discouraged about the future. Millions of healthy young adults are choosing not to have children because they can’t see any reason to bring a child into this world given the current state of affairs. The predilection for this worldview exacerbates the mental health crisis that is steadily growing by removing any glimmer of optimism that we can actually make a positive difference in the world. 

There are a few toxic beliefs in particular that are not based on facts but if you consume the news could easily come to believe. This is because the news feeds on fear and promotes articles and pieces that will drive clicks. The end result is that anyone who intakes a steady stream of news will quickly come to despair about humanity. I wrote another article here about how to mitigate the negative impact the news has on your mental health. Below I’ve listed the top 3 myths that contribute to a sense of despair about the world, and my top 3 books to give you hope for the future.

Myth 1 – We Live in one of the Most Violent Times in Human History 

The prolonged war in Ukraine and mass shootings at home has led many to believe that we live in a relatively violent time. In his book The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined Harvard Professor and Cognitive Psychologist Steven Pinker argues convincingly that this is manifestly not true. Using archeological, and historical data he shows that violence has been on a steady decline. 

One thing that surprised me from the book is that even in hunter gatherer societies violence was exponentially higher than in the vast majority of places in the modern world. If we absorb this premise into our worldview we can take a step back and see how the long arc of human history trends towards civility, not aggression. Our children and their children will live in relative safety in comparison with past generations. 

Myth 2 – We are on the verge of ecological collapse and it’s too late to save the world for our children. 

Raging forest fires, deadly floods and freezing snowmageddon are yearly reminders that the climate is changing, and the scientific consensus is that humans are contributing to those changes. Where it gets tricky is figuring out the extent to which humans play a role, what the future looks like, and what we can do about it. In his book Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts us All life long environmentalist and conservationist Michael Schellenburger contends that claims about imminent environmental collapse are unfounded and unhelpful. 

He points to the fact that previous doomsday declarations have not come to fruition and demonstrates that the climate is changing at a pace which human’s will be able to adapt to. Furthermore technological advancement will help to mitigate the speed of climate change. While it is distressing to see the impacts of global warming, we can take heart knowing that it does not signify the end of humanity or a mad-max-like future for future generations. 

Myth 3 – People of colour need the help of white people to make progress in society. 

As a white person I experienced a lot of “white guilt” when I went to University learning about how racist society was and how I was a part of that. I went searching for answers of what I could do to help and found the book White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era by African American author Shelby Steele. This book radically changed how I viewed myself and people of colour. Steele contends that it is actually the guilty white people in their attempt to assuage their conscience and save black people who have aggravated black people’s problems.

Well-meaning white people have engaged in the bigotry of low expectations contributing to a mindset that people of colour need white people to better their lot in life. Steele uses social science data to show how black Americans had long been improving without the help of white Americans, and how this is the only way they will continue to progress. This book will remove unwarranted guilt if you are white, and if you are a person of colour it will empower you to take charge of your life and find success for yourself and your family. 


Life is stressful enough without worrying that you and your children are physically unsafe, have no future, and are either inherently racist or disadvantaged based on their skin colour. The truth is society is safer than it’s ever been, humans can adapt to a changing climate, and we live in the least racist society in recorded history.

That’s not to say we shouldn’t continue to fight for safer streets, more sustainable policy, and call out racism when we see it. We should continue to fight for change. The more we believe that positive change has been made the more likely we will believe we can be a part of that continued progress.