That’s it! Gone! Never to return. Goodbye to 2016. Hello 2017.
Yes ok, I know most New Year’s Days indicate that the passing year is never to return, well not in our lifetime anyway. Unless of course, you are Princess Leia from Star Wars and I suspect she too will make a miraculous come back in another gallaxy far, far away, and almost certainly in the next instalment.
I leave 2016 with seriously mixed feelings though, so I’m glad it has gone even if the fallout from it will remain with us for some years to come. Lets face it, it has been a pretty crap, topsy turvy sort of a year and that crapness seems to have hit every corner of the globe, promising little by way of stability as we move into a new year.
A right-wing government, Brexit, the deconstruction of the NHS, a Trump presidency (not that that should effect us, but of course it does), and the death of David Bowie all threaten to plunge us back into the dark ages. If feudal wars, land-grabs and the subjugation of the poor were part of a grand plan to create a utopia that the rich minority could enjoy without the inconvenience of tending to the less fortunates of their society, then they were much mistaken because along came great reformers such as Oliver Cromwell, Annie Kenney, William Wilberforce and Robin Hood. I’m not sure about historical legitimacy of that last one but Historic UK cites Robin Hood as popular folk hero because of his generosity to the poor and down-trodden peasants, and that makes him a hero in my book.
Yet what I take with me in to this new year is the optimistic hope that 2017 will be an good year. That those who should know better will pull up their socks and work for the betterment of all. I think I said the same thing last year, and mostly likely the year before. Winston Churchill once said, “a Pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an Optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” And I tend to agree with him. While I’m not a optimist by nature, more often than not imagining a challenging situation to its worst possible ending, I have learned to apply an optimists approach in working through a problem in the belief that good ultimately predominates over evil intent.
If you believe as I do – and I’m willing to accept that many probably don’t – God grants favour to those that are humble enough to believe they can’t get through life without Him, then a favorable outcome becomes possible. Furthermore, increasing optimism has been proven to improve the immune system, prevent chronic disease, and help people cope with unfortunate news.
So as I awaken bleary eyed on the dawn of 2017 I bring with me the hope that the best in human nature will prevail and that genuine heroes are still out there. My prayer is that these heroes are brave enough to stick their head above the parapet to do something to even up the odds and a shine a light in the dark corners of this world we find ourselves in. Will it be you? Will it be me?