2016 Mattered

There is a narrative out there that 2016 was the worst year ever. Not only did we lose beloved icons ranging from Prince to Carrie Fisher, but the United States just handed the Nuclear Codes to the least qualified individual ever to hold the Presidency. And this is without talking about his white supremacist tendencies!

I am the last person to deny the very real implications that our political choices will have on very real people.

At the same time I find it important to agree with Charles Nevin’s recent opinion in the NY Times. We have done much, much worse.

If we stay on this side of the Atlantic, we must consider the devastating implications of 1492 for the indigenous population of the Americas. It took less than 50 years for the first slave ship to land in the continent in in 1526. Think about the implications for millions of Africans and their surviving descendants. The year 1898  is a bit closer to ours, and we can call that the birth of American Imperialism as it grabbed the reins from Spain in the Spanish American War.

I hold the passionate understanding that we are the most privileged people to have ever walked the earth. We are our ancestors’ wildest dream! It is imperative that we hold on to this truth even in the advent of dark times.

2016 was a year that truly mattered. We will have to meet its implications for years to come. I believe it’s best to do so with an awareness of history. We cannot forget where we come from and how much we have achieved.

We take hits.

And we move forward.