This year has been a wild year. Countries have changed direction, new people have risen to power, and many people's nightmares have turned into a reality. 2016 has been the year of surprises - and who knows what the last month of the year will bring.
Personally, it has been a year that has challenged my view of the world. It has made me doubt the world I believe in. I have felt my own values come under attack and I have felt afraid to share my own beliefs. I have felt like a foreigner in a country I have called my home for the last six years, and I have had moments where I have felt afraid of being attacked on the street.
It all started on June 24th, 2016, when I woke up to the news that the people of the UK had voted for Brexit. As an EU citizen living in the UK, this was absolutely devastating news to wake up to.
I felt betrayed, anxious and alone. Despite having lived in seven different countries around the world, I have never felt so unwelcome as I did on the day the vote results were announced. I was so ready to pack up the bags and leave.
Few months later, when Donald Trump was announced as the next President of the United States, I knew the world was in real trouble. If I left the UK now and stopped fighting for a better world, I would be giving in to the dangerous direction the world was heading in.
I would be accepting the change that was happening even though every cell in my body wanted to fight against it. Luckily, I'm a stubborn soul and I'm here to stay for the fight.
As I processed Brexit and started healing from the Trump news, I discovered many others were going through the same thing. I realised I wasn't alone. And neither are you.
You are not alone in feeling fearful of the future.
You are not alone in feeling anxious about the uncertainty we are faced with.
You are not alone in hoping that somehow we manage to get through this.
You are not alone in still believing in a better future.
You are not alone in being against racism, sexism, and the idea that we should build more barriers.
You are not alone in believing in climate change and wanting to work for a sustainable future.
You are not alone in wishing for more peace, not war; for more love, not hate; for more happiness, not sadness.
You are not alone in wishing for togetherness, not separation; for hugging, not hitting; for loving, not fighting.
You are not alone - and I do believe there are enough of us out there to create the positive change we want.
Do you think I'm naive for believing in these things? That I'm blind to what's happening in the world? That I'm suffering from unrealistic optimism?
Honestly, I don't care what you think. But I do care about where the world is going. And I will do everything in my power to stop it.
I'm not naive to believe in the collective good of people - I've simply seen so much of it I know it's possible and I know it's also contagious. The more good you do, the more good you inspire around you, and the more good will happen in the world.
I'm not blind to all the insanity in the world and the evil that humans are capable of - but I refuse to accept it simply because it keeps happening.
I'm not unrealistically optimistic and I don't just preach 'be positive' to solve the world's challenges - I see the big picture and I acknowledge the facts. In truth, I'm a natural pessimist, worrier and OCD perfectionist - but I trained myself into becoming an optimist. Why? Because I wanted to make my everyday easier and to help the rest of the people in this world to do the same.
In my years as the Happyologist, the one thing that keeps on coming up is this: you can't just sit on the sidelines and complain. You can just watch the world, or your world, turn into something you don't like - and then whine about it.
You have to pull yourself together, pick yourself up from the floor, and keep working towards the world you do want to live in. And that's why I'm staying put and I'm going to keep on fighting.
I'm going to keep on fighting for a world where people love each other regardless of race, origin or age. Where people collaborate and work together regardless of borders or geographic proximity. Where people lift each other higher rather than putting each other down.
Especially, because, in the words of Michelangelo: "The greatest danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and reaching it."
I'm going to aim high and continue working towards a happier, more hopeful world.
I hope you will do the same.
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