This year, I wrote a monthly book report on the last day of the month. I managed to fulfill that goal and there is a book report coming your way tomorrow. So I’ll take the day before the end of the year to note my reflections on 2016.
It somehow seems fitting to try and bring this painful year to an early close.
For the record, 2016, you were a real pain in the ass. In hindsight, the Blizzard of 2016 may have been the metaphor that set the stage for 2016. There was only one big snowstorm in my neck of the woods last winter, but it was a doozy. In so many respects, 2016 was a typical enough year. But when it made a punch, it was playing for keeps. The stunning, horrible, no-good election of Donald Trump to be the American president has to be the worst event of the year from my point of view. That it happened because notions of facts and truth seem to have been replaced by “I read it on the Internet” may be the enduring bad news of my life time.
2016 reminded us that racism and violence go hand-in-hand and are ever-present in our nation. We learned that accomplished women can be dismissed by unaccomplished men and women who’ve drunk the patriarchy koolaid. In Aleppo, Syria; the Sudan; the Congo; the Philippines, and other places we’ve learned of the depths of human depravity and the limits of the world’s willingness to help the powerless.
Though I’m eager to see the year’s bad news come to a close, I remind myself that 2017 will bring the inauguration of an unqualified, self-absorbed Cheetoh Kleptocrat to the presidency. I fully expect 2017 to be the year Americans discover that we no longer rule the world and, worse than that, perhaps aren’t even qualified to govern ourselves.
I try to live on the optimistic edge of the universe but 2016 has made that a challenge. But I prefer to live in hope. I know so many others who will join us to do the heavy lifting to make sure that hope prevails. And so I choose promise over fear and look to 2017 with hope in my heart.