In defense of “f**king 2016” + My New Year’s wish for you

Something bad happens toward the end of the year, trigger the “Fuck 2016” posts on social media just like the Fuck 2015…2014…2013…” posts. What year are we not cursing?

When were the years great, again? You know the years void of terror, when no one died, wars weren’t fought, economies didn’t collapse, poverty ceased to exist, all were equal, and disease was too tired to disease. I’m waiting….

This year, we reached peak “Fuck this year” absurdity after John Glenn died. John Glenn, a man who flew 59 combat missions in WWII and 63 combat missions in the Korean War including a few with future baseball hall of famer Ted Williams, John Glenn, the first human to orbit the Earth, a U.S. Senator, the oldest human at 77 to fly into space, a man who was married to his high school sweetheart for 73 years died at at the age of 95 and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery as a national hero.

“How could you 2016?!”

He was 95! He survived an incredibly dangerous life and died of old age. We shouldn’t mourn his death or curse the year of it, but celebrate his amazing life.

Look, 2016 didn’t kill anyone. We are just out of touch with mortality. I hate to out pessimism our culture of pessimism, but we are all going to die. Let that fact, and these reminders of our mortality, drive you to embrace your family, friends, moments, your work, and your life.

If you are down on 2016 because Donald Trump was elected president, wait until 2017 when he is actually the president! If you were a pessimist in 2016, you are going to be a pessimist in 2017 no matter what happens or who dies.

Let the injustices of 2016, inspire your work and life into 2017.

Still, I get why some are happy to see the end of the past 12 months.

I have a friend whose stomach hasn’t allowed her to eat for like four months. Genocides are taking place in Syria, Sudan, Iraq, Somalia, Central African Republic, Myanmar, Nigeria, and Burundi. Parents buried their children. A son was killed in a mass shooting. Someone took their own life. Someone went bankrupt.

For those facing these circumstances, I wish that an actual end comes with the arbitrary year’s end and they step into a peaceful new beginning. Yet there is no magical second between December 31st 11:59 PM and January 1st 12:00 AM that rids us of our demons and absolves the world of its problems.

Fellow space travelers, I wish you the absolute best during our next 365-day orbit around our star. And if shitty things happen in 2016, I hope you’ll find hope and comfort in the good, and if that’s not possible, I hope you’ll inspire others to work toward change or live meaningful lives.

The possibility and hope of a Happy New Year aren’t embedded in January 1st. They are in you. And it is my New Year’s wish that you’ll find them.

 
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