Stop blaming 2016

Anyone on social media has seen thousands of posts blaming 2016 for all and sundry events: Weather, election results, break-ups with girlfriends/boyfriends, and of course, celebrity deaths.

It’s come to the point that stating that 2016 Is Not Killing People is an unpopular opinion, no matter than the writer correctly notes that addictions cut lifespans.

I must admit that blaming 2016 for weather events is a refreshing change from the global warming cacophony. As to election results, books are being written. Romantic relationships sometimes end bitterly, but, if two months after the fact you are still carping about it on Facebook, may I suggest that you seek counseling?

As for grieving celebrity deaths, it’s sad that talented people whose art delighted us and shed insight on the human experience have passed away. It’s also worthwhile to keep in mind that many times we project onto celebrities our emotions, our foibles, regardless of whether that person shares them or not.

Of course everybody enjoyed Alan Rickman’s acting,

George Michael’s singing,

and of course every little girl (and a lot of big girls) wanted to be Princess Leia. But there are people closer to us who inspire is to become our better selves.

My mom, who died in October, at age 96, is one of them. Another one is a gentleman who was on the board of the Princeton studio of Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic (now Learning Ally). He was a pioneer in his field at work, a fun and witty guy who answered my five-year-old son’s questions about it, a leader in his religious community, a good friend, father and husband. We lost touch over the years, and I found out about his passing just two days ago. When I looked up his obituary I also found out he was a war hero, decorated with two Purple Hearts.

So let’s lift a prayer of thanks for those who inspire us to be our better selves.

And stop blaming 2016 for everything.

Christopher Harper on learning from failure.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on Latin America and thr U.S. at Fausta’s blog.