And so, this almost ubiquitously horrible past year draws to a close. And it will not be missed. Certainly not by me.
Yet, there are some silver linings to 2016 in that, on the cultural side of things, have helped us Americans in my country to learn to put things into more realistic perspective. Don’t want to feel like you’ve lost a hundred family members in a year? Stop with the hero worship surrounding celebrities. Don’t want to be afraid of your rights being taken away? Stop giving executive powers to your president.
And on the economic and political side of things especially, we have become so much more educated. Truly. If nothing else, this crazy, crazy election year has significantly educated the average voting American citizen on things he likely didn’t know much or anything about before. Such as:
- Where and what Aleppo is;
- That we have an Electoral College;
- What the EC is for;
- What shadiness our own leaders are capable of;
- That the people truly do have the power to vote against the status quo and win;
- That there are more than just two political parties;
- That Republicans and Democrats are equally horrible, just in different ways.
I think that’s progress, personally. And while it may not be everyone’s idea of comfort or closure, at least we didn’t squeeze by this year without learning anything like so many years that have come before. And from that perspective (as well as the one backed my actual data and promulgated by the likes of Steven Pinker that the world is still becoming more human and more gentle every day), 2016 has in many ways been one of the best years in recent memory.
Yes, many of us had personal hardships this year, but many of us also found some amazing success and happiness. It’s all a matter of perspective at the end of the day. And for what it’s worth, we must do our best to keep said perspective positive for the coming year. This way, 2017 will be the most educated and positive year to come along in years.
You know, just don’t let Trump get away with too much, and we should be fine. Right?
… Oh, dear.
This post was written by Micah J. Fleck.
The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.