2016. A lot of unexpected stuff happened and a whole lot of expected stuff didn't happen. It was good, it was bad. It was fun, it was sad. It was boring, it was rad. What was 2016 all about?
It was the year the Brexit happened and Donald Trump was elected to become President of the US. It was the year nationalist populism extensively gained popularity for the first time since World War II. It was another year of heartbreaking pictures on the news from Syria, Turkey, but also Paris, Nice, Orlando and Berlin, leaving tens of thousands of civilians dead and families torn apart. It was the year legends like Alan Rickman, David Bowie, Prince, Mohamed Ali, Gene Wilder, Alan Thicke, George Micheal and Carrie Fisher left this earth for good. It was the year doping and corruption scandals shook the world of sports. It was another year of millions of people dying due to hunger, lack of clean drinking water and exploitation. It was another year of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, even accelerated by the financial crises. It was the year planes fell or were shot from the skies, or deliberately steered to their fatal end. It was another year of thousands of refugees drowning in the Mediterranian Sea. It was the year Harambe was killed. It was another year that felt like bringing us even further away from world peace as the previous years. It was the year my phone broke, and my shoes, and my computer. It was the year I tore my ligaments. It was the year I had to give my favourite cat away forever. It was the year I was robbed. It was the year I spent a lonely Christmas. It felt like a bad year overall. But was it?
Let's take all this disappointment and all of this anger and sadness. Let's take all the bad stuff and put it in a bottle rocket. Let's light it up and let it explode high above to shed light on all of the great things that happened this year, as well.
Because this was also the year many people showed a magnificent reaction to the rise of hate and fear. It was the year that put an end to the civil war in Colombia. It was the year the number of endangered species shrunk down notably. It was the year of Pokemon GO. It was the year huge steps have been made in dealing with food and beverage waste, having Starbucks lead the fight with their recycling policy. It was the year scientists developed glasses which can make colour-blind people see the world without a permanent black and white filter. It was another year of decreasing child mortality and heart-desease deaths. It was the year nations started taking environmental protection in their own hands by setting limits to their own carbon footprints and putting laws in place that aim at guaranteeing the success of their plans. It was another year of Leonardo DiCaprio not winning an Oscar... oh no, hold on: He did win an Oscar! It was the year Bob Dylan did not die but won a Nobel Prize instead. It was the year many people in many countries are working very hard to help people less fortunate, live a decent life. It was the year I was selected to go to the University of Michigan. It was the year I met a lot of unique and amazing people. It was another year of making experiences and mistakes. It was the year we found out that failure can be a good thing if you let it and it was the year we all will finish together tonight. For 'together' is the word that can vanquish all distance and make people the best they can possibly be.
This was a year... This was the year... This year was as it was and no review or preview for the next year is going to change that. But as long as I am in it together with the people I care
about, I'll gladly get on the crazy rollercoaster called '2017' and I'll let it take me wherever it'll take me and I'll let it shake me up in the process.
Happy New Year!