Annus Horribilis

What a year it’s been!

With the passing of George Michael on Christmas Day, it seems as though we have lost more luminaries in a year than we have in the last decade. From David Bowie to Prince to Alan Rickman to Zsa Zsa Gabor, nearly every month has brought news of another celebrity demise. In and of itself, this would make headlines. But coupled with all that has gone on politically, 2016 has kicked us in the teeth repeatedly.

Pondering the US election results, a colleague had remarked that the pendulum had swung this far right only as a reaction to it having swung too far left. Equal and opposite seems to have been the rule of the thumb this year. Brexit and Trump. Farage and Le Pen. Racism and Misogyny.

Adding an extra glitter to the proceedings have been all the horrific terrorist attacks the world over. From the Istanbul bombing(January) to the Brussels airport attack (March) to the car bombings in Baghdad (May) to the Orlando nightclub shooting (June) to the Bastille Day attack in France (July) to the suicide bomber in Quetta, Pakistan (August) to the Ohio State University Attack (November) to the Berlin Attack (December), to name but a few.

And all the while, the world has watched the plight of the Syrian civilians in Aleppo caught in a civil war nightmare, from a distance, helpless and shocked that a despotic ruler can attack his own people time and again, with nary a murmur from the powers that be. Alliances and political juxtapositions being paramount.

Turmoil, upheaval and change have been 2016’s calling cards.

Governments are mutating, political ideologies are being replaced, humongous talents are bowing out, and climate change is being labelled as fraudulent. Is this the beginning of the end?

Every Century has brought its own kind of change. The world has seen natural disasters, extinction of species, plagues and contagion, war and strife, and it has carried on spinning on its axis. Despite all of mankind’s destructive capabilities, and megalomaniac desires, the world has survived. How much longer though?

With the nuclear codes in the (very) small hands of a man with an easily bruised and (very) large ego, might this be the last decade or so that the world does carry on spinning on its axis? Let’s hope not. Let 2016 be a footnote of sorts in our History books. If it is the year that took away so many and so much, let it also be the year that led us to self awareness, to a perseverance and persistence of belief in the ultimate wisdom and kindness of the human species.

If 2016 has been an annus horribilis, let’s look forward to an annus mirabilis in 2017.

Goodbye, you awful year. We shall not be sorry to see the back of you.


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