We Keep Going

keepgoingsign.jpgWhat can I say about 2016 that hasn’t already been said?

I know, I know – it was bad. The foundations of civilization seemed to crack and we all felt more anxious about our future than we have in a long time. Faith in established institutions disintegrated further and hope seemed to vanish. Will 2017 be worse? Will it be better?

As we enter a new year, here’s a quick overview of one for the history books…

Some of the Bad

Several thousand civilians were senselessly slaughtered in the name of law and order by heartless dictators (See: Syria and the Phillippines)
Right-wing populism (fueled by the internet, misinformation, and economic uncertainty in a globalized world) brought bigotry into the mainstream, helped elect an authoritarian man-child to the U.S. presidency, and left the European Union – collectively the largest economy in the world and one of the main reasons why there hasn’t been a World War III – uncertain of its future.
Global average temperatures again broke records, extreme weather events killed thousands, and glacial ice continued sliding into the sea, narrowing humanity’s opportunity to avoid catastrophic climate change.
Some of the Good

Innovation and technological progress led to cheaper, more abundant renewable energy all over the world. It also connected a record number of people to the internet and made the world a little smaller in the process.
More people than ever before were educated, fed, and gained access to health care. The United Nations got closer to its goal of eliminating extreme poverty in a generation.
Breakthroughs in science gave us a clearer picture of the universe and ourselves. and we’ve never been closer to being an interplanetary species.
My two cents: The juxtaposition/paradox of our species – tragedy and destruction vs. continued progress – has never been starker. In spite of all the craziness, we’re still moving forward.

No one knows what 2017 holds. Yes, there will be awful events and decisions that lead to unnecessary suffering. Maybe we’ll come to the brink of another world war or face a global pandemic. I know I’m far from alone in being terrified of the words “President Trump.”

But one thing is for sure: no matter what, we will roll with the punches and continue onward. It’s what we’ve always done. Three steps forward and two steps back is still progress. Trailblazers will keep charting new paths and we will face new challenges and opportunities. After all, life is a constant state of change.

Hold your head up and keep moving.

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