Why 2017 Was the Worst and Best Year Yet

December 22, 2017

Why 2017 Was the Worst and Best Year Yet

2017 was a year of extraordinary challenges, to put it mildly. Looking back and surveying the damage can leave you a bit queasy and certainly questioning whether this is a hole without a bottom. From the senseless violence in Las Vegas to the hatred in Charlottesville to the state-mandated discrimination at the airports to the collapse of American leadership in the fight to save our planet to the abandonment of Puerto Rican citizens in their time of need to the attack on transgender members of the military to the pathetic sparring of two nuclear-armed frontal-lobe-deficient adolescents should be enough to make anyone start drinking heavily to numb the pain. Then you add Mother Nature’s fury in the form of wildfires, hurricanes, and earthquakes and one really wonders if this is actually the beginning of the end.

I have certainly found 2017 to be brutal, disheartening, and relentless in its continuous blows against all that I value as a woman, a mom, an American, and a member of humanity.

BUT it has also been a year of amazing accomplishments, resistance, and hope. The lows of 2017 were really, really low but wow, were the highs high! My top 5 moments of 2017 – both global and very personal – are:

  1. In response to the Trump administration’s inane decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord, hundreds of cities, states, and companies adopted the accord and committed to its goal of reducing greenhouse gases. His anti-science, pro-profit denial may actually spur greater gains for the environment.
  1. Columbia, South Carolina became the first U.S. city to ban bump stocks, a gun accessory that allows a semi-automatic gun to shoot as many bullets as a machine gun. If that kind of gun control law can be passed in the Deep South, maybe there is hope for reducing gun violence in our gun-obsessed country.
  1. Democrat Doug Jones wins in Alabama!!!
  1. On January 21st, the day after the inauguration of President Donald J. Trump, millions of women across the US and around the world came together to demand equal rights and respect. And the march for justice didn’t end that day and it won’t end as the calendar flips to 2018. The #metoo movement, Pantsuit Nation, the push to “persist,” Saudi women winning the right to drive, and the ousting of Matt Lauer, Harvey Weinstein, Travis Kalanick, Roy Moore, and others are only the beginning.
  1. In July of this year, my daughter was diagnosed with significant dyslexia, finally explaining her struggle to read. With a lot of hard work and the love and support of caring educators, she is reading, approaching grade level, and perhaps more importantly, feeling empowered and smart. She is my hero.

So, yes, 2017 has been insane, even devastating. But it has also been triumphant and liberating and a big ole shot in the arm. 2017 brought us all off the sidelines and reminded us that our active participation is critical. Game on, 2018!!

Photo by Bryan Woolston / Reuters






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