As the year begins anew, it's apropos to reflect on the year that was and to set resolutions in hopes of making positive changes.
For many, 2017 wasn't a positive year. It was filled with hardships and heartbreaking tragedies. On the world stage, there were senseless mass shootings, devastating weather events — from flooding to raging wildfires — and the rise of anti-immigrant neo-Nazi propaganda. There was violence, both at home and abroad. It appeared the increasing tensions between world leaders would surely signal World War Three.
Despite the hot mess that was 2017, there were moments that reminded us that standing up for what's right will never go out of style.
There were countless sex scandals that rocked Hollywood and beyond, and the #metoo campaign hit close to home. Millions of people had the courage to write #metoo on various social media platforms, indicating the prevalence of sexualized violence and harassment. Many people wrote about their encounters, while others shied from the spotlight but still knew their voice would be counted — that they were heard.
People are sexually assaulted, harassed, stalked and judged far too often, not just in the workplace but when going about their day-to-day business. It's time for it to stop. And 2017 issued that edict loud and clear.
It was the one bright note of 2017. Victim shaming and misogynistic behaviour is finally being called out. There's still a long ways to go on eradicating this awful mindset, where it's somehow a woman's fault if she gets raped, but it's a step in the right direction — and one that must be championed long into 2018.
Looking back at 2017, there's many lessons we can take to heart, but perhaps the most important is appreciating the value of family.
Family — whether bonded by blood or friendship — has the power to motivate us to be better, to do better.
As 2018 gets underway, don't forget to focus on the people who matter the most to you. Often in times of darkness, in times of trouble or doubt, they will be there to shine a guiding light, to offer a hand up or a hand out.
In this time of uncertainty and strife, family can keep us grounded and looking for solutions to life's problems. Here's to a prosperous 2018, one that will put humanity in the forefront and hope in our hearts.