It pretty much goes without saying that 2016 has been a rough year for a lot of people and for a multitude reasons, none of which need to be rehashed here. Suffice it to say, I am all the more grateful to have had a largely great year, due in no small part to the support and companionship of loved ones and the good fortune of my life circumstances.
And contrary to popular belief, there was more to 2016 than celebrity deaths and political decay. As Swedish writer and historian Johan Norberg reminds us, the past year has seen plenty of amazing progress in areas as wide ranging as conservation, public healthy, and conflict resolution. Here are just ten examples:
No. 1 deserves to be repeated: in just one year, over 100 million people worldwide were lifted out of extreme poverty during 2016. Every second you counted down to midnight on New Year’s Ever, three of your fellow humans found a new lease on life for themselves and their loved ones. That is incredible and warrants acknowledgement and celebration.
I know I have been drumming up such points for the past few weeks, but given how difficult it is to hear about these things, I think it is worth all the effort to get the word out.
Yes, some of these achievements are tenuous or incomplete, and yes, they don’t undo all the horrible things that have happened this past year as well. But they are still positive developments in the right direction, and represent a centuries-long and ever-intensifying march towards progress.
Here’s hoping 2017 brings many more things to celebrate. Thankfully, the trend has been pretty encouraging, despite the hiccups and reversals along the way.
Thank you all for remaining a part of my life, and best wishes to everyone fighting their own battles and determined to better their futures. Stay safe and be well.