2016 in a nutshell.

“2016 was the worst year ever!” – Thats something I’ve seen a lot of people say on social media over the past few days. Most of them are referring to the amount of celebrity deaths that have occurred within the last 12 months. I hate to break it to you, but the reality is 2016 wasn’t the worst year ever. It was just another year, and let me tell you why…

First of all let me address the obvious. Yes, the world did lose a lot of famous people, who entertained and inspired many of us in our every day lives.

The acting world lost Alan Rickman, Doris Roberts, Victoria Wood, Gene Wilder, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.

The musical world lost David Bowie, Prince, George Michael, and Leonard Cohen.

The sporting world lost Muhammed Ali, Geordie Howe, José Fernández, Arnold Palmer, and of course not forgetting the entire Chapecoense football team.

In fact, if you were to print every notable death from 2016 listed on Wikipedia, you would get 416 pages filled with people who were inspirations to many, all sadly lost from this earth within the last 365 days.

Chances are you won’t personally know someone on this list. I know I don’t. The biggest loss I have encountered this year was my grandfather whom I lost in May. He was the second biggest influence and inspiration in my life behind my mum. He doesn’t get a Wikipedia page, or a BBC News article. He did however get a small piece in his local town newspaper, and a short blog post written by yours truly, but that was it really. The important thing is that none of that matters. He will always remain a huge part of my life, even if the rest of the world moves on and leaves their memories of him in the past.

And that brings me to my point here. In todays world, with the Internet forming its own little bubble in which people live in, it is easy for a lot of us to get sucked into a universe in which celebrities seem like they are our family and friends. Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat – they all give us an insight into the life of our favourite singers, actors, or Kardashians. We become so obsessed with their world that it is sometimes easy to forget we have our own world around us, neglecting our own families to check up on what Kylie Jenner is wearing today, or whats next for Brangelina.

Outside of the celebrity world, there is a seemingly non-stop cascade of negative news such as the murder of British politician Jo Cox, the fallout of Brexit, and whatever is going on in American politics. There was the terrorist attacks of Brussels, Nice and Berlin, which together claimed the lives of at least 130 people. And you can not forget the civil war in Syria and the ongoing conflicts throughout the Middle East.

Despite all of this, there has been some good news throughout the world in 2016:

A solar powered plane circumnavigated the earth. Sri Lanka was declared malaria-freeNew chemotherapy breakthroughs have increased the survival for pancreatic cancer. Scientists found the gene thats linked to ALS thanks to the money raised from last years ice bucket challenge. Tiger and manatee numbers are growing in the wild, and the Giant Panda is no longer endangered. The ozone layer is slowly repairing itself, and Leonardo DiCaprio finally won an Oscar!

The ultimate fact is that people today always tend to dwell on the negative news, and simply forget about the good stuff that is happening in the world. Always focusing on the bad things in life, forgetting to give a thought to all the good things going on elsewhere. They feel like it is only them experiencing these scenarios. But thats not true. There have been over 108 billion people who have walked this earth. Only 7% of them are alive right now. Everyone of those individuals has gone through adversity. Everyone has been affected by tragedy. And what this reminds us is that regardless of what happened, you are not alone.

Since you started reading this blog over 200 people have lost their lives. 60 million people die every year. Each and every one of them an inspiration in their own way to their friends and family. However, in the same amount of time you have been reading my ramblings, over 500 people have been born into this world. These babies will become the next generation of intelligent minds, celebrities, athletes, and inspirations to others.

Maybe its time to stop dwelling on the past and the negatives, and start focusing on the future and the positives. Think of it this way, if 2016 is a book, then the next couple of hours make up the last few pages. Finish off on a high, party with some friends, tell someone you love them, have fun and go wild. Because with tomorrow brings a brand new book, the sequel to 2016, and it all starts on page 1.
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