So, how’s everyone doing?
Anyone else feel like the world got some kind of galactic food poisoning this year? Am I the only person who thinks life suddenly seems to have far too much in common with things like Animal Farm and bad reality TV? I haven’t spoken to a single person who has said that 2016 was a good year. But it only has a few weeks left. Then we head into 2017 with cautious hope or abject terror. Maybe a mix of both. All while waiting to see what kind of existential cherry 2016 will drop on itself as a finishing touch.
So what the hell happened?
I will try not to get into much relating to the politics and election of this last year. I addressed that, with my own nerdy stance, in my “Blue Lantern” post. Go there if you are interested. So let’s look at the rest of it.
DEATH: I know. There is always a lot of death. Everyday, people die. Someone loses somebody they care about everyday. But one of the impossible to ignore points of 2016 has been a very high death rate among the famous. I’m talking about ginormous levels of death. Prince, Harper Lee, Muhammad Ali, Leonard Cohen, John Glenn, and a seemingly endless amount more. Personally, I was and still am very sad about the loss of Alan Rickman and Gene Wilder. Don’t even get me started on David Bowie! I’m still holding out hope that he just went back to his home planet!
So with this in mind, I encourage that all records stop calling this merely “2016” and give it the more metal title of Year of the Reaper. We can have a plaque made or something. The year has earned it.
CIVILITY: Overall, I think that everyone just became meaner this year. We are less prone to being polite or civil to each other. We are more insistent that the thoughts and feelings of others have no value. The only opinion that matters is our own and it is always right. Also, I’m well aware that I’m putting my opinion into a blog in the hopes that someone cares what I think.
Look, I’m not saying we need to put a stranger’s thoughts at the top priority of our lives. That would be silly. Assuming you don’t play host to an alien parasite, only you live in your own skin. But how bad would it be if we actually put some thought into how our actions impact those around us? I like having nice things as much as the next person, but I don’t want to hurt anyone so I can have them. And what’s wrong with actively trying to listen to someone else? No one says you have to agree with an opinion. Hell, I don’t even think you’re required to respect it. But we can at least acknowledge that it exists. I have met people who said their favorite Batman was George Clooney! That is their opinion and I acknowledge it. I think it’s wrong and bad, but I acknowledge that they feel this way and it really isn’t destroying the world. They aren’t attacking those that disagree with them. So I’m not going to treat these people poorly because of their Dark Knight preferences. It shouldn’t be so difficult to treat other humans like they are human.
TRUST: From what I’ve seen, this took a beating for a lot of people this year. Don’t trust the government. Don’t trust the media. Don’t trust the cops. Don’t trust the activist groups. Don’t trust your neighbor. Basically, don’t trust anyone at all.
Now to be fair, I think that people as a whole find their trust gets abused far too much. It’s good to be wary and think critically. But the important word in that last sentence is think. Dismissing everything is just as bad as believing everything. People can be easily manipulated in either extreme. So when it comes to trust, there are things we need to work on. Read everything. Trust your own ability to be analytical, but also trust your instincts. If something feels off there is probably a reason that it does. Find out that reason. Check facts as much as possible. Get varying opinions and try to find what has some real weight to it. And remember that trust is something we have to earn. If it’s lost, then see if it can be earned back. If one person proves that they absolutely cannot be trusted, don’t assume this needs to apply to everyone. You don’t want to be naive and being paranoid isn’t any better.
We still have a little time left before 2016 is over. Many things can happen still. But I think it would be wrong of me to not include something that, at least for myself, was a positive point this year. I would like to thank the individual who made the following video. You filled a void in my life I never knew existed. And to everyone else, I say best of luck in the coming year. REGULATORS! MOUNT UP!