Stephen Fahey: New Year’s Wishes

As we close off another year, loaded with its own historic moments – such as the first elections in Iraq since the defeat of ISIS and the Castro Family stepping down from Cuban leadership for the first time in sixty years, we are reminded of other, both beautiful and ugly, anniversaries which occurred this year.

For example, 2018 marked 50 years the assassination of Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Junior, 50years since the Tet Offensive, 50 years since the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, 50 years since the My Lai massacre and 50 years since Tommie Smith and John Carlos gave the black power salute from the Olympic medal stand in Mexico.

It also marks 70 years since the Warsaw Uprising, 75 years since the publication of The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, 100 years since Poland declared her Independence and 100 years since the end of World War One. Not to mention 200 years since the publishing of Frankenstein, 250 years since the publication of Encyclopaedia Brittanica and 500 years since the ever charming Charles V of Spain went ahead authorized the trading of slaves from Africa to the New World.

And next year there will be plenty more, such as 25 years since the Rwandan Genocide and 25 years since Nelson Mandela became President of South Africa. 50 years since the moon landing, 50 years since Led Zeppelin released their debut album, 50 years since the first recorded time a human solo sailed non-stop around the world and 50 years since Woodstock, and 75 years since Operation Valkyrie and 75 years since D-Day.

It’ll also be 100 years since the Paris Peace Conference and the Signing of the Treaty of Versailles, 150 years since the transcontinental railway was completed, 175 years since the birth of the telegraph and 500 years since the first Circumnavigation of the Globe.

We’ve come a long way, even just this year. And while we live our own history it’s easy to think that the march of progress has slowed, but it has done no such thing. There may be no new physical lands left to discover on Earth, and we face an entire host of brand spanking new problems, but as each year passes we continue to shape our fate and the fate of all future humans each the days and months and eons. So as we step into another year and struggle to overcome the past, while fighting for a better future, I wish you all a happy and prosperous new year.

I won’t wish you less stress than you had in 2018, or more happiness. Instead I wish you the strength to endure the difficulties that 2019 will bring and the humour to laugh in the face of those same difficulties. It won’t always be easy, or simple, but when times get hard remember that you’ve made it this far and, no matter what comes, all that is yet written is yours for the taking!

Stephen Fahey

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