Staff reporter Nolan Peterson explains why 2016 is not as bad as we think it is. Screen grab: Lauren Yang.
By Nolan Peterson
We’re two weeks into the new year, and unless you’ve been living under a rock for that period of time, you’ve probably heard somebody say they’re glad 2016 is over because “it was the worst year ever.” Attached to some nonsense statement, you’ve probably seen memes on social media generally related to something along these lines...
But there’s more than meets the eyes in those pessimistic posts. So I’m here today to tell you as to why those posts on social media are wrong and, even more importantly, give you three reasons why 2016 wasn’t the worst year ever.
2016 politics (american and international) were not some of the worst ever.
This is kind of in the eye of the beholder, but I’m going to try and come at this from the most non-partisan way I can. Obviously, the main talk about 2016 being horrible politically revolves around liberals and moderates (even some republicans) ripping Donald Trump and all that he stands for. I’m not going to convince you that Trump is a great person if you don’t believe that, but just remember there would certainly be a fair share of outcry and complaints if Hillary Clinton had won. It goes both ways. And sure, there were plenty of political gaffes both parties could agree were awful (see ISIS amongst many others whose list would be too long to write out), but compare it to a random year like 1741. I know nothing about 1741, but I can guarantee the political climate is way better now, hands down, as well as the quality of life. More on this later.
2.) While there were many influential celebrities that died, they lived pretty good lives
It sure felt like a lot of important celebrities died last year, but there’s way more to it than that. Some of the notable celebrities that died this past year were singers Prince and David Bowie, boxer Muhammad Ali, astronaut John Glenn, Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro, former first lady Nancy Reagan, and author Harper Lee. With the exception of Prince, everybody whose name I just listed was age 69 or above when they died. Four of them (Reagan, Ali, Glenn, and Castro) were aged 90 or above when they died. I don’t know about anyone else, but I hope I can live to see my 90th birthday. Plus, all these people had relatively good, long lives. Sure, they had their struggles. Take Ali for instance. Yes, he faced oppression because of who he was in the 1960’s and 1970’s, yet his successes are what live on, not his setbacks. I mean, goodness gracious, Ali took so many punches over his career, yet he was still able to make it to 2016. This may sound depressing, but everybody’s time comes around sooner or later, and people like Ali certainly made the most of their time while they were here.
3.) Before saying “2016 was the worst,” think about the quality of life.
Now is when I’m going to come back to the idea of comparing 2016 to 1741. Hands down, 2016 was a way better year just based on the quality of life. Of course I can point to technological goods and just flat out better moral standards as to why 2016 is better, but let’s just realize something for a second: the United States wasn’t even a country in 1741. In fact, there were actually battles between the English and the Spanish as to who claimed control of Florida during that time. There’s just no way anybody could claim that people lived better lives in years like 1741.
In the end, there were certainly some ups and downs to 2016. Maybe you’ve already forgotten about it entirely and have focused all your attention towards 2017. However, you can’t say it was the worst year ever. 2016 was just the next great stepping stone towards progressing to future greatness, not some abysmal failure. So here’s to 2017 being as great as 2016.