Wednesday, January 4, 2017
Oh my, first week of a brand new year. Do you think we can do better this year? Carol wrote of plans and possibilities, Leigh chose her "word" for the year. Me, nada. I have tried resolutions, failed, and I have tried choosing a word, that also was a big failure. A couple of years ago I chose compelling as my word for the year....take more compelling photos, write more compelling stories. I personally thought it was a great word, but I do believe that year I took less photos and wrote less than any previous year, so again I say, big failure. Whatever my intent I tend to lean, no not lean, fall in the wrong direction. I admire those that choose their word of the year with intent and I am in awe when someone actually carries out their resolutions. That old saying "can't teach an old dog new tricks" is true for me when it comes to "words" and resolutions.
In recent days we have all heard and read about just how bad 2016 was. I can't deny that as a whole it was a pretty rotten year. Good riddance 2016 seems to be a mantra for many. I won't rake us over those burning coals again, but what I would rather do is mention a few good things that occurred in 2016.
1) Since I am from the Chicago area, number 1 is the Chicago Cubs finally after 108 years of losing, won the Baseball World Series. It brought tremendous joy for so many that had waited so long for this win.
2) In the US the high school graduation rate is at its highest and the teen birth rate continues to fall. Good news for our younger generation.
3) Unemployment in the US is at its lowest rate in 10 years. And even with "Hamilton" tickets "starting" at $525 per seat, we still gave to charities, with 2016 being the highest year yet.
4) In health news, researchers found new genes that may help cure ALS. (a dreadful disease). Don't let anyone tell you that throwing a bucket of ice water on top of heads doesn't help fight a worthy cause. Measles has been obliterated in both North and South America and West Africa is ebola-free with an experimental vaccine that has proven to be 100% effective. Hopefully 2017 will bring news that researchers are finding prevention and cures for cancers and Alzheimer's.
5) In conservation news, the tiger population rose for the first time in 100 years. And Pandas are no longer an endangered species. Hurray for lions and tigers and bears oh my. And our feathered friends, the kakapo parrots, were at one time almost distinct with only 126 left. Now their population has grown to 1541. There was some good egg laying going on.
5) World news brought us stories that Columbia after fighting their government for over 50 years has finally struck a peace deal with Juan Manuel Santos leading the peace talks. Santos was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in bringing this long overdue peace. A big shout out for Juan. Can you imagine the Civil War lasting 50 years?
6) In other world news Pope Francis the head of the Western Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Russian Orthodox Patriarch Krill met together in Havana, Cuba. This is the first time in almost 1,000 years that a Roman Catholic Pontiff and a Russian Orthodox Patriarch have met. Suppose they smoked Cuban cigars while they commenced their meet and greet? \
So you see, not all of 2016 was filled with bad news altho I will admit that having Princess Leia and Tammy die within a day of each other was quite heartbreaking. Here's to all the good that will come from 2017, God bless us everyone.
"Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a
better person." ~ Benjamin Franklin