If I look at 2016 at a glance, it can be summed up in two simple words: train wreck. I mean, we lost so many wonderful artists, leaders, thinkers, and dreamers such as Alan Rickman, Christina Grimmie, Muhammad Ali, and Harper Lee. America experienced the most controversial election and we tore ourselves apart from the inside out. There were terrorist attacks in many places including Belgium, Istanbul, Syria, and France. There were shootings in Orlando and Dallas just to name a few. There were natural disasters such as the fires in Gatlinburg and Hurricane Matthew.  There were creepy clowns running around countless cities for some reason no one ever really found out. There were so many tragedies and things that we will never forget.

When I take a closer look, however, the words “train wreck” don’t seem fair. There were plenty of good things that happened in 2016 as well. A bunch of people graduated from high school, college, and even kindergarten. Some people started their first “big kid” jobs and are thriving. There was a new breakthrough in cancer treatment and in ALS research. Tigers, manatees, and pandas are growing in numbers. People saw color for the first time thanks to specially-designed glasses. Hamilton. Enough said. Toys R Us offered quiet shopping hours for kids on the autism spectrum this holiday season. Someone probably got a new pet of some sort so that’s pretty cool. A bank firm is paying for college tuition for the children of employees who died in the 9/11 attacks. There’s a new Harry Potter book and a movie. Leonardo Dicaprio finally got an Oscar. People got married and babies were born.

I’m sure, if you look hard enough, you can see your own personal victories. Maybe you met someone special. Maybe you’re a Cubs fan and watched them win the World Series for the first time in one hundred and eight years. Maybe you had cheesecake for breakfast one day. I don’t know, but I know something good happened to you even if you do have to search for it like a needle in a hay stack.

So, you see, this year wasn’t all bad. For some people, it was probably pretty great. So, thank you, 2016, for giving us a few good things and for teaching us how to look really really hard to find those positives.


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