State of the world is depressing

Annie Lane

Dear Annie: I’m not writing in about any problem you can solve. This letter is about a much bigger problem — namely, the state of the world today. It’s impossible to turn on the news without getting depressed, whether because of natural disasters or the bitter state of politics in our country.

Addiction to alcohol, opioids and other drugs is rampant, and everyone is addicted to smartphones. No one can civilly disagree anymore. People are ruder than ever. And from the way things are going, it seems everything will just continue to get worse. It makes me glad I decided not to have children.

It seems as if the end of the world is imminent, and at this point, I’d welcome it. When did things start going so wrong? How is anyone supposed to care about anything these days? — Realist, Not Pessimist

Dear Realist, Not Pessimist: What’s the use in scrutinizing the world’s problems if you have no intention of being part of the solutions? That attitude contributes nothing but stomach ulcers.

Volunteer with an organization you believe in; organize neighborhood cleanups. If you’re down in the dumps, try therapy. Even if you’re not down in the dumps, try therapy. Go out and be the change you want to see in the world, or at least change the way you see the world.

You can weed your garden by digging up every plant you don’t want or by looking at the dandelions differently.

Editor’s note: “Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to