Triumph and Tragedy: How Do You Define 2014?

“See What the World Searched for in 2014”, Google boasted underneath its search bar. Intrigued, I clicked on it. I scrolled through catchy headlines and photos, depicting the most searched for topics of this past year. Among the things mentioned were the Winter Olympics, Ebola, Flight MH370, Robin Williams, and goji berries.

This is what goji berries look like, in case you were wondering… (image from metro.co.uk)
This is what goji berries look like, in case you were wondering… (image from metro.co.uk)

As I read through the individual pages for all of these things I began to wonder which topic was most representative of 2014. In my mind, I narrowed it down to some type of event to represent this year (Sorry, goji berries. Maybe next year.) But then, I came across a slight problem. Do I choose a positive event, or a negative one?

If I chose a positive event as the event representing 2014, then I might  seem to be ignorant of the negative things that happened – but if I choose a negative event, then I might seem to be “too negative” because I am ignoring the positive things that happened.

Our world is “moving forward”, so it seems logical to pick a positive event to represent this past year. I want to be able to look back at 2014 and see good things, for the sake of progress and the sake of being happy. When I look at it for me personally, and not on a global scale, this year was awesome. I can think of so many positive things that happened in my life this year!

But for the world, I am not so immediately filled with positive thoughts. My mind jumps to defining the year with negative events. I remember being shocked at hearing about flight MH370’s sudden disappearance, on the news while I was in Florida on vacation in March. I remember reading about the Crimea tensions in July.

I think about recent events: Monday’s Sydney Siege, the massacre of children in a school in Pakistan yesterday. I think about protests, and deaths, and lawsuits. I think of the times when I read the news with an expression of complete disbelief and shock on my face.

2014 has had it’s triumphs and it’s tragedies. What event defines 2014 in your mind?

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