When I was a child my father would ask me to do this bedtime exercise. He would ask me to reflect on the events of the day and be grateful for all the good things that happened during the day. He would also ask me to reflect objectively on the events that were not so good and see if I learned a valuable lesson from them. One day I had an especially bad day at school. I had failed to complete most of my assignments and my teachers being furious with me sent me for detention. It so happened that I ended up spending my entire day in detention for something or another. That night when my father asked me what I learned from my day, I told him bitterly, that I learned that all my teachers were really bad people who were driven by no greater motive than to punish me. And that it was a good idea for me to avoid school for the rest of my life.
Decades later I am reminded once again of my father’s little exercise which holds a slightly deeper meaning now. As the year comes to an end I cannot but help apply his logic and reflect on all the good and the bad that 2016 had to offer.
On a global level, this year has been a whirlwind of events. The year started with the sobering news of the outbreak of Zika virus that resulted in 3500 cases of microcephaly between October 2015 and January 2016 alone.
March, ended with the coordinated bombings in Brussels and Belgium killing at least 32 innocent lives while injuring over 240 others. Several other planned attacks in the World (especially in Europe) followed.
In May, EgyptAir Flight 804 crashes, killing 66 people on board.
In June, the United Kingdom decides to leave the European Union shocking the world.
In August, Summer Olympics commence in Rio brightening the global mood. Due to the European migrant crisis, the IOC allows refugees to compete as Independent Olympians under the Olympic Flag making a historical decision. United States brings back an astounding 121 medals making it the 3rd most successful Olympics for the USA.
In September, Global CO2 emissions exceed the staggering 400ppm level, higher than even recorded in human history sending environmentalists into a frenzy.
Back at home, hell freezes over as the Cubs make history in November 2016, by winning World Series Championship after 108 years.
November, closes the long and perhaps the most divisive American Presidential campaign with Donald Trump becoming the 58th President of the United States of America. This is truly a remarkable contest. Donald Trump makes history by being the first candidate ever with no prior experience in Public service to fight for the office and Hillary Clinton makes history as the first female candidate nominated by a major party in the US. Needless to say, the victory is sobered by the very divisive sentiments proliferating currently in the country.
With that said what a year this has been! I am sure as 2016 closes we can all put aside our political differences and work together towards brighter future and more peaceful 2017.
On a personal level, this year has been most memorable for me if also a bit arduous. As some of you who have been following this blog may know I was recently blessed with the birth of my beautiful baby girl. 2016 started with many misgivings: from first-trimester mood swings, indulgences, aversions to even feelings of self-doubt and fear. In August this year I was blessed with the birth of my baby girl which has been one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. This was however followed by a taxing recovery and sleepless nights that come with the territory (as any new parent can testify). This year has been full of its trials and subsequent rewards for which I am truly grateful. For the past 3 months I have been on Maternity leave and feel so blessed to get this time to bond with my child.
As I prepare to close the year and start 2017, I know I will think back to this year as a roller coaster of a year at a both global and personal level in which so many things least expected came to pass. 2016 has been an eventful year and like it or not, hopefully we have all picked up some important lessons.