Almost every year begins on an optimistic note–but you are right: Almost every year ends in pessimism. Nothing seems to change, and like the writer of Ecclesiastes in the Bible we may be tempted to say, "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 1:9).
In some ways, of course, the world is a better place than it was 1,000 years ago or even a century ago–at least on the surface. I'm grateful for cars and electricity and modern medicine, and for all the other things that make our lives easier or more fulfilling. God in His grace has allowed us to develop these things, and we should never take them for granted.
But in other ways our world has not changed–as our headlines make clear every day. Why is this? The Bible says the problem comes from within us–from our own hearts and minds. Jesus said, "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander" (Matthew 15:19).
This is why we need Christ, for only He can replace our selfishness and evil with His love and goodness. Have you opened your heart to Christ, and are you asking Him to change you from within every day? Someday Christ will come again and destroy all evil–but until then make it your goal to live for Him.