As we wake to another bright and sunny desert morning, a sense of calm has settled over the valley as it is finally 2017, a new year that brings the promise and hope of things to come.
As 2016 came to a close, the online world had much say in the usual “Year in Review” commentary. If you looked online, the world was coming to an end. Politics destroyed us and violence abounded. Despite what the great feedback loop in the cloud (AKA social media) portrayed as a world gone mad, I had a lot to be thankful for in 2016. Sure, we suffered the loss of legends David Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen, John Glenn, Gene Wilder, and the great Arnold Palmer, to name a few. However, as with all great losses, we will carry a piece of these pioneers forward in our hearts so we can pass their joy along to future generations.
And, yes, there were many who proclaimed the 2016 presidential election as the most contentious of all time. However, that contention opened the eyes of a great many voters and got them involved in the process as never before. As a people, we reinvested in the governance of our nation which serves us well moving forward.
A visit to the real world (i.e., talking to live human beings) further exposed great things that happened in 2016. A casual poll among friends came up with all kinds of good things to remember the year by: The Cubs finally won a World Series. The Coachella Valley provided the backdrop for two historic weeks of Desert Trip. A shy folk singer won the Nobel Peace Prize for communicating the thoughts of generations through his songs. Medical studies advanced our knowledge of the inner workings of the brain, opening the door for possible cures to many diseases. We fought for human rights – here at home and around the world. The Rolling Stones played a free concert in Cuba! These events made history in their own right…good history.
As we look forward to the New Year, let’s take a collective deep breath. Ask yourself how you want to remember 2017 at this time next year. What amazing things will we accomplish both privately and collectively in the New Year? Let’s set our intention to create more good and to reject the bad. Let’s consider the perspective with which we view others. Let’s listen to others and really hear what they have to say. Let’s come together as a whole and show the world what we stand for, both as an individual and as a nation. Let’s advance progress in fighting disease and share that knowledge with all who are ill.
In the end, these intentions will restore our faith in each other and give the Internet only good things to say. Each of us is inherently a good person. We need to let this goodness shine through and eliminate the nastiness. Goodbye, 2016. It’s been real, and we are all moving on.