Despite all the horrific news reports, the people who keep track of such things say there's actually less armed conflict going on now than during your lifetime. The number of civil and international conflicts, and the yearly body counts, like you, are "trending." They are trending downward. There are also fewer authoritarian and totalitarian states than there were in most of the 20th century.
John, I "Imagine" we can take this as good news. It could be better. If the human race can get its collective shit together, it will get better.
We both know that even the absence of armed conflict is not the same as peace. We know what the prophets of old, and of our times, have said about peace. I'd like to observe your birthday, at least one of these years before I die, in a peaceful world.
With the portents of global climate change, with a population zooming toward 8 billion, and with giant extractivist corporations aiming to maximize shareholder value as maximally as they can before the whole planet suffocates, the odds against the trend continuing toward world peace are pretty tall.
You know that cliché about crisis and opportunity? As Naomi Klein points out, there has never been a bigger opportunity in the history of our species. That doesn't imply any guarantee that humanity will take this opportunity to "Come Together" and save itself from itself.
You always placed great faith in young people. The Baby Boomers, the Prophet generation who were teens and young adults in 1970, have mostly bought into the System. They have brought some of those revolutionary values into the System, but the System still does what it does, and what it does best is kill. The Millennials, today's youth, are supposed to emerge as a Hero generation. Many of them have taken the music, art, and hard-won wisdom of previous generations to heart. If they can focus their energies on the crises of our time, they may just implement the necessary solutions.
A world made new, and all her people one,
With Peace, Love, Justice, and Respect for All,