Finally – The End of 2008

In Time on January 1, 2009 at 11:45 pm

A lot of people are saying good riddance to 2008, but I’m not so quick to write it off.  After all, why are people so negative about 2008? One word: money. People are losing their homes, their jobs, their investments, their retirement. They can’t get credit as readily as they used to, so they can’t spend more money. Banks and automakers are failing and big businesses are laying off thousands of workers. Unemployment is up. Health care costs are escalating. Everyone’s  struggling to make up shortfalls. Cash flow is nonexistent.

We all know the bad news. But is that enough to give 2008 a bad name? What about the good things that happened this past year? At the risk of sounding insensitive to all those who had terrible reverses in their lives, I’m going to point out the highlights of 2008.

First, there was the election, and the campaigns that preceded it. Most people professed to be sick of the campaign by September, if not earlier, but you have to admit that it wasn’t boring. There were the historic events of a female almost-candidate for president, a female candidate for vice-president, and our first African-American president. Those are not insignificant happenings. Who will ever forget this election year, for those reasons alone? There was also an unprecedented grassroots response that made the country seem united for a few short months, even if we weren’t united in our politics.

There’s been so much bad news, it’s easy to forget that most of us had good health, secure jobs and our own homes. We managed to weather the economic and literal storms. We celebrated births and weddings, rebounded from divorces and deaths and lived to see another year. Let’s be gentle with 2008. It was what it was.

However, there’s nothing wrong with looking forward to better. Here’s for new beginnings. Welcome to 2009!


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