Bradley Wright, in Upside: The Surprising Good News About the State of Our World, documents the many ways in which the world is actually doing pretty well. Which naturally leads to the question, why don't most people realize this?
Some of the reasons are psychological tricks we play on ourselves. One of the big reasons is that the media makes a living by telling bad news. But the one that made the normally cheerful Wright mad (and I agree with him here) is that advocates often lie. Even the advocates for good causes have an interest in making us believe that things are bad and not getting better. So when things are not really so bad, and when they do get better - which is the case in nearly every category of social problem that Americans worry about - the advocates "lie - for justice."
This is wrong, no matter what the cause. And if you are dedicated to solving a problem, finding out that things are getting better - or were not so bad to begin with - should be delightful news that you shout from the housetops.