2016 has been quite a year.
I’ve talked with so many people who have said ‘it’s one of the worst years’ they can remember. Not just in relation to world events in which we’ve witnessed despair, terrorism, carnage and big surprises that are likely to have a huge impact on the years ahead; but also the very many little things that happen to so many people.
While big world events grab our attention and perhaps make us feel a sense of hopelessness at times, individuals also experience moments of great sadness and tragedy.
Amongst my circle of friends and colleagues, I am aware of people who have lost loved ones; whose loved ones have been diagnosed with a serious illness and who are now actively managing that illness with great equanimity, hope and love; who get up every day to look after a loved one who needs constant care and attention; and who have loved ones for whom this might be their last Christmas.
Note also how ‘loved ones’ are so central to what shapes our view of the year.
So in wishing you all the best of the festive season, and in the hope of striking an optimistic and positive note, I want to share something I heard on radio here in Australia where I am spending Christmas with my family.
ABC Radio National Breakfast has asked listeners to share their highlights of 2016 – something that has made this year great for them.
I just love some of the contributions so far because, once again, it highlights the fact that small things can mean so much to all of us as individuals.
For example, the young woman who said she was proud that she finally “got the confidence to go to a concert” by herself. Or the young man who said he got to see where his family came from in Greece for the first time. Or this one from Ian Buckland who tweeted he performed Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights with 140 other people in Adelaide.
— IanBuckland (@IanBuckland_com) December 20, 2016
For me, my highlight of the year was our Rainbow Laces campaign in Australia in April. The notion of prejudice and intolerance anywhere in sport is unacceptable and I’m so proud that SKINS was able to make a tangible impact on calling for the eradication of homophobia in sport in such a positive fashion.
Best wishes to you and yours for a Merry Christmas (for those who celebrate it); a joyous festive season; and health, happiness and peace in the new year.
I’ll be back in touch in the next week or so to announce my second annual awards. Until then, please enjoy what’s left of the year and let’s fare 2016 well.