The nearby city was recently named the sixth most distressed city in the United States. This title goes hand in hand with a ranking the city achieved in 2013, when it made the “Top 10 Most Miserable Cities in the United States” list. Consistency is something that cities should strive for but these particular accolades are probably not doing this area any favors.

Looking for a little pick me up, I decided to research the most modern cities in the world. Surprisingly, out of the Top 10 Cities that are considered the most modern by this list, only one of them is in the U.S. and that was San Francisco. So I sat back and reflected and realized that while U.S. cities do have a lot of charm, we’re really not that advanced here.

This is a bit disappointing to me.

I feel like society, and as an extension of the will of society, our political process is holding us back from our full potential. It seems like we’ve lost the spirit of team work and we are more interested in breaking off into factions focused on their own interests instead of advancing our country as a whole.

Modern cities worldwide have WI-FI available. High speed rail is everywhere. Skylines have green spaces on top of their buildings. The societies of these modern metropolises embrace progressive thinking around societal issues (family benefits, same sex marriage, etc.)

They’re looking forward, not clinging onto the past.

I’ve been following the flight of Solar Impulse, a solar powered airplane that is making a voyage around the world. There’s no fossil fuel involved with this aircraft, it is completely powered by the sun. This morning it took off in the early morning darkness, with absolutely no fuel on-board, only the batteries charged by the sun.

Yesterday, Elon Musk’s Hyperloop Transport concept had its first test in the Nevada desert. When this idea comes to full fruition, the Hyperloop will transport passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in about 30 minutes.

These achievements are beautiful things, but we need to band together as a country and stop all of this divisive bickering and shun the negativity that is pervading our society. Honestly, there shouldn’t be a list of the most distressed or miserable cities. Instead of touting these articles for click-bait and ad revenue (notice I didn’t link to them), our efforts should be focused on moving into the future in a positive direction.

Maybe then we’ll catch up with the rest of the world.