This is a photo of a young buddhist monk being evacuated from the Himalayas in May 2015.
It’s easy to forget the earthquake and humanitarian outpouring that happened in Nepal this year, because it’s easier to remember 2015 for other things.
It’s easier to remember 2015 for the terrorist attacks in Paris, and for ISIS, and Putin in Ukraine and Syria, and Donald Trump everywhere. It’s easier to remember 2015 for the crisis in Greece and the scandal in FIFA. It’s easier to remember 2015 for Steve Harvey at Miss Universe.
Because the media gets us to focus at one person or one thing, usually in a negative way, which means it’s easy to miss the bigger picture.
I hope we remember 2015 as the year we reached out to support those who lost their homes in the Himalayas, and through the Syrian crisis. I hope we remember 2015 as the year that the countries of the United Nations listened to their citizens and agreed to new Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty, fight inequality and tackle climate change.
I hope we remember 2015 as the year that we had new tools to marvel at the universe, that water was found on Mars, that we became more human, that same-sex marriage finally became legal across America, that we became better people, and that entrepreneurial individuals, not governments, made commitments to give their time and fortunes to the causes they supported, to connect us all, to be accountable to a better future.
If we remember 2015 for these things, I believe we will also remember 2015 as a turning point from a time when we suspected that, collectively, we had greater power and greater wisdom than any leader or government, to a time when we knew that to be true.
And from 2016 we no longer waited for someone else to make this world a better place, but we began to work collectively, united in our own wisdom and power to stand accountable and shape this world for the better.
50 years ago, Robert F. Kennedy said:
“Let no one be discouraged by the belief there is nothing one person can do against the enormous array of the world’s ills, misery, ignorance, and violence.”
“Few will have the greatness to bend history, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. And in the total of all those acts will be written the history of a generation.”
With technology, social media, and our awakened, shared global conscience, we have the power to write our future history. We don’t need to wait for anyone. We’re the ones we’ve been waiting for. Let’s go do it.
Happy New Year!