We waited with anticipation for 2016 to arrive. We celebrated as the clock struck 12; hopeful that this year would treat us well. But 2016 came with brutish force and as we gear up for the clocks to strike 12 once more we will wait again. This time with optimism that 2017 will shoot our emotions skywards.
2016 can only be described as one of the worst years in history. With numerous celebrity deaths. From Alan Rickman to David Bowie, it tore our hearts like paper. Already fragile, it bombarded us with horrific acts of violence. The terror attacks in Nice and the Pulse Nightclub massacre. And most recently, the Berlin lorry massacre. We mourned together and our hearts carried within them sorrow for the families and friends.
If that wasn’t enough, it leaves us with an uncertain political atmosphere and it departs us with Trump as president, and Brexit.
But these last 12 months haven’t been completely awful. There have been glimmers of hope that have shone from the darkness. 2016 gave us some of the best scientific breakthroughs: new chemotherapy treatments, more knowledge about Alzheimers’ prevention, robotic limbs that move via brain signals, and scientistics found the gene responsible for ALS with help from the money raised from ALS’s Ice Bucket Challenge.
In conservation, populations are growing. Tigers, manatees and panda populations are increasing for the first time in years. Seaworld removed their Orca breeding programme. 500 elephants were relocated to a better and safer habitat. And China are willing to ban the ivory trade as we progress in to 2017.
In communities all over the world, child mortality has decreased and continues to do so. In Pakistan, we work towards outlawing honour killings. In India, volunteers planted 50 million trees in 24 hours! And as of December 16th, same-sex marriage is legally recognised in approximately 22 countries. And while we have a long way to go for complete equality, it is a start.
So as 2017 draws closer, I am optimistic that amongst the chaos and controversy we will unite in belief and hope for a better year. So hears to us and as the midnight clocks chime I wish you a Happy New Year.