Happy New Year to all the Quietblog readers and contributors out there. I thought it seemed an appropriate moment to post a short thought about the year that was and the one to come.
There seems to be a loud chorus of public opinion that 2016 was a terrible year. I won’t deny that some pretty awful events have taken place in the last 12 months. I’m not talking about celebrity deaths here (even though that seems to have been the most significant thing to have happened this year for some), but the terrible impact of natural disasters and human-wrought atrocities on millions of people throughout the year.
So yeah, I agree some very sad things happened this year, but a year is a long time and the Earth is pretty big. I would argue that pretty awful things happened in 2015, 2014 and so on. Perhaps the greatest difference is the increasingly ubiquitous communication technology that ensures we are know about every tragedy (and a ghoulish media that loves to dramatise it).
As well as immediate tragedy, we also had some pretty frightening developments that have me nervous about 2017. The strengthening of the alt-right in many parts of the western world- in defiance of any factual reasoning- is a phenomenon that I do worry about because of their symbiotic relationship with terrorist groups (every action of a terrorist group is a propaganda opportunity for the alt-right and every action of the alt-right supports radicalisation and recruitment by terrorist groups). The unpredictability of a President Trump and post-Brexit Europe, as well as the continued incompetence (they will have to stop blaming Labor eventually) and amoral behaviour of our Liberal government mean I hardly enter 2017 with confidence that it will be a better year than 2016 at the macro-level.
But I’m not writing this to depress you all. Despite concerning developments in national and international politics, (or perhaps because of them) it is vital we don’t lose sight of the amazing things happening in our lives all the time. Don’t let unrelated concerns spoil moments that should be pure joy or satisfaction. For me personally, 2016 was a year filled with love, friendship, achievement and good fortune. At this time every year I spend the month reflecting on all the wonderful things I am thankful for from the previous year. It recommend you try it too. You might be surprised just what an amazing year you have just had.