author: annie trussler | op-ed editor
Is this really too much to ask?
I genuinely struggled with what my first article of the year should be. 2017 was exciting but very confusing – the world was scary, school was scary, life was scary. I enter 2018 a little skeptical but optimistic. I am optimistic, at least, about my interpersonal life. I am not optimistic, however, about the world itself. I think we are in a dark, dark place.
Sometimes, when I look for article ideas, I skim the news section of my Facebook timeline. Today, one of the first things I saw was an article titled something along the lines of “Trump’s Wall to Cost $18 Billion.” I am floored by this headline. I was so floored, in fact, I had to open the piece itself and read every available scrap of information. America is a country in profound debt with a horrifying poverty problem, but somehow it can afford a wall that will kill innocent people. There is always, of course, enough to spare for a gluttonous, murderous military machine.
I wanted to start 2018 with some positivity. There is positivity present in many faculties, but currently, my heart aches for millions of helpless lives. The government is indeed the world’s most celebrated serial killer.
There will be deaths this year. I guarantee there will be a handful of school shootings, terrorist attacks, murders, and government atrocities. Something horrific will happen in Syria, and we will all need to learn new hashtags. Trump is going to hurt millions of people. With all of these factors considered, I implore you all to remain strong, anyway.
Scientists: do not stop looking for the next significant discovery. Artists: never stop creating, because the world needs more beauty. Charity workers: you are doing something incredibly beautiful and brave. Trans women of color: you are powerful, you are beautiful, and your names will never be forgotten. Jewish people: the hate and violence will end. I am so sorry for your tremendous losses; my heart is with you endlessly. Victims of police brutality: we will never forget your names. Disabled people: may we continue to adapt the world to all of our wonderful, creative folks.
Many good, innocent lives will be lost this year. We, as a species, will feel a tremendous loss. Even with these horrifying premises lain before us, we must remain brave, inventive, and unrelenting. The day we surrender to fear is the day we lose our spark.
With this bravery, we will continue to protest, sign petitions, recycle, protect animals, be kind to children, and encourage all people to be kind and giving. You must speak out against injustice, use any privilege you have to shut down problematic behaviour and act on behalf of those who cannot speak.
I have faith in us, everyone. I have faith that humanity is good, the world can be healed, and violence can end. This belief may be misguided and naïve, but it is the belief I must maintain going into this year.
I am also learning to forgive myself, berate myself less, and take pride in small accomplishments. There is beauty in time passing, there is beauty in growth, and most importantly, Beyoncé’s twins are out there somewhere.
Do not do Xanax. It will kill you.