All over Facebook, I’m seeing these kind of comments:
“Go to hell, 2016!!!”
“…this fucked up year”.
“This has been a shitty year.”
“Curse you, 2016!”
“2016, you're leaving the dickheads and the idiots alive and taking all the awesomeness. You suck.”
“Geez 2016, be over already.”
This is just a fly-by of my friends’ feeds, mind you. Twitter isn’t even included.
- If you’re cursing 2016, you’re alive. ALIVE. Thank the heavens that you’re not in a hospital somewhere fighting for your life from a wasting disease. Or under rubble from a bombing. Or just told that you only have three months to live.
- You have family and friends that love you. Even if only a few, you are NOT alone. Think of the people that actually are. Like, the orphans of Syria who just had their entire town bombed to ruins. One of the oldest, if not the oldest, communities in the world…the cradle of civilization. Gone.
- You have a PC, smart phone, android or tablet. Which means you have SOME expendable cash to pay for internet. Because, that’s where you’re cursing 2016 from. Some people don’t even have the funds to buy their next meal, let alone make a $50 or more monthly payment to an internet provider. (And if you’re traveling to a library to hop on a computer to complain about 2016 on social media? That’s just pathetic.)
- Celebrities don’t exist for your enjoyment. “We lost our Prince…and now, our Princess.” They aren’t playthings…they’re people. In fact, we made them celebrities because of our need to project greatness—to make idols of others. A number of beloved celebrities died in 2016…some, merely days ago. Is it sad? Of course! But keep this in perspective: People die every day. Good people. Kind people. Creative, brilliant people. Mothers, sons, fathers, daughters, friends. It’s the Circle of Life. With famous folks, some die “early” because they abused their bodies for decades (e.g. alcohol or drugs). Their hearts gave out. Others die because it was there time. Period. (Read Journey of Souls by Dr. Michael Newton for some mind-blowing perspective). They had a particular soul contract and fulfilled it. (If they hadn’t, they’d still be here). Be grateful that they at least did something with their lives that inspired you to the point that their passing is putting you in touch with your emotions and causing grief (yet another fact of life).
- Cursing shows ingratitude. Sorry, but if you can’t be thankful for what you have—including a “difficult” year where your fuzzy nostalgia was crushed by the death of a few celebrities—what makes you think you’ll enjoy 2017 any better? Because celebrities will die in 2017, too.
Note: this post isn’t trivializing loss or experiencing grief. Absolutely not. It’s been a tough year for many. My issue is the active cursing of an entire year—2016—as a complete wash. A resounding disappointment. A black hole of despair.
Believe me, I’m not happy about some things that occurred in 2016—especially how many people believed the worst rumors about a woman, while ignoring the worst facts about a man.
But time is the most precious thing we have (next to our health, and then love of family and having basic needs met).
In that spirit, here are some quotes from three extraordinary philosophers—Seneca, Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius—for you to ponder.
Here is your great soul—the man who has given himself over to Fate; on the other hand, that man is a weakling and a degenerate who struggles and maligns the order of the universe and would rather reform the gods than reform himself. ― Seneca, Letters from a Stoic
If you really want to escape the things that harass you, what you’re needing is not to be in a different place but to be a different person. ― Seneca, Letters from a Stoic
If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment. ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
What really frightens and dismays us is not external events themselves, but the way in which we think about them. It is not things that disturb us, but our interpretation of their significance. ― Epictetus
Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart. ― Seneca
It is not that we have so little time but that we lose so much. ... The life we receive is not short but we make it so; we are not ill provided but use what we have wastefully. ― Seneca, On the Shortness of Life
Think of your many years of procrastination; how the gods have repeatedly granted you further periods of grace, of which you have taken no advantage. It is time now to realise the nature of the universe to which you belong, and of that controlling Power whose offspring you are; and to understand that your time has a limit set to it. Use it, then, to advance your enlightenment; or it will be gone, and never in your power again. ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
Life is long, if you know how to use it. ― Seneca, On the Shortness of Life
We suffer more often in imagination than in reality. ― Seneca
Let's hope for great things in 2017. Better yet, let's set ourselves up for great things--via expressing gratitude, striving for personal excellence, focusing on what is beneficial, creating something new and sharing what is beautiful.