Most people will agree that 2016 has been a pretty bad year. Thanks to numerous celebrity deaths, terror attacks, bombings in Syria, and divisive elections and referendums, the news has been filled with tragedy and despair.
The abundance of negativity on our TV screens and mobiles has led many people to ask the question: “Is this the worst year in history?”
For many people, the idea that 2016 has been the worst year ever is only exasperated by obstacles and tragedies in their own lives. As soon as someone suggests it’s been a bad year, it’s only natural to stop and think: “That’s a good point. Some really bad things have happened to me in the last few months.”
Whether you’ve experienced a redundancy, bad breakup or death in the family, it’s easy to focus on the bad aspects of life and write off the year as a whole.
But when we dwell on our saddest moments, many of us overlook the happier times. We forget about time spent with loved ones, kind things strangers have done for us and those little moments of satisfaction after achieving a small win. Remember: Every day might not be good but there’s something good in every day. The same applies to years, too.
Not only do each of us experience small personal moments of happiness throughout the year, there are much larger scale triumphs around the world. Even though the mainstream media may be filled with death and destruction, here are just a few positive things that have happened in 2016:
- Thanks to the ice bucket challenge, ALS researchers are closer than ever to finding an effective treatment
- Volunteers in India planted 50 million trees in 24 hours
- Heart disease deaths have decreased by 70% in the US
- A teacher in Afghanistan has been delivering books by bicycle to villages without schools
- 200 strangers attended the funeral of a homeless WW2 veteran with no family
- Pokemon Go players placed ‘lure’ modules near hospitals so that sick children could catch lots of Pokemon from their beds
This year, thousands of people around the world overcame cancer, thousands have experienced a second chance at life after receiving life saving organ transplants, and thousands have survived shocking freak accidents despite the odds.
If you’ve suffered from your own tragedies over the last few months, try to take comfort in the fact that you’re still here. You still have time left on this earth and it’s up to you to make the most of however long you have left.
It’s often said that life is 10% of what happens to us and 90% of how we respond to these things. We may not be able to control everything or stop tragedy from occurring, but we can make a real effort to respond with as much optimism and drive as possible. Even in times of tragedy, there are still happy moments to be enjoyed.