Happy New Year

Well, we made it.

2017 has finally arrived and we can send off 2016. Many people had already sent it off well before the ball dropped in Times Square. Last year was 365 days of “what the heck is going on” without letting up.

We had a Zika virus warning almost daily during the summer months. The Rio Olympics was shown in its entire splendor despite pollution issues, the poor being shunned, and the country’s economy suffering. The water in Flint was a disaster and nobody wanted to take blame or come up with a solution.

And let’s not even talk about the Presidential election and how nasty that got.

But what I’ll remember most about 2016 stemmed from a sales meeting back in April

Manager:
Okay. I know we’ve had quite a busy day out in the field. I just want to hear what you guys got accomplished. Vernon, why don’t you kick things off.

Me:
Prince died. Messed my day up.

Time should’ve named the Grim Reaper as its Person of the Year instead of Donald Trump. Death kept rearing up in the news and it kept taking people that we either grew up with or held a prominent place in our current viewing pleasures.

There were a lot of “messed up” days out there. It was more than just the people dying. It made many of us have to do something in this 24-hour, have to know everything and be everywhere society.

Stop.

And think.

Death stopped us in our tracks. It made us have to remember what these people brought into our lives and how things were a bit simpler. We paid attention and we “got it”, even if it was someone we didn’t quite understand. We could have differences of opinion and not hate each other for it. There was no Internet to fire off salvos while hiding behind avatars and screen names.

We had heroes that weren’t perfect and didn’t win all the time. We learned that some of them had been through a lot of shit and caused others to go through a lot of shit.

But we cared anyway. Because they made us care.
That’s what I’ll take from 2016. It reminded me to care, even if it’s someone or something I don’t understand or have little interest in.

And now here we are. 2017 is here and we can’t go back. We can remember all those who we lost. We can remember the lessons taught to us by the events that took place.

But remember to care about what happens around you. Care about how you treat people. Care about what you say and what you think. We’re not going to get it right all the time. But remember the words of Leonard Cohen:

I did my best, it wasn’t much
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though it all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Happy New Year.

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