2017 is around the corner! It is time to celebrate this past year and prepare for the next. We have compiled a list of things that we plan on leaving in the 2016 year for a more self-caring, a more active, and more successful 2017.
1. Letting Fear Set In
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
– Nelson Mandela
2016 was a year full of political fear and uncertainty, especially for many Americans of color, LGBTQIA+ folks, and immigrants who pushed tirelessly against Donald Trump’s election. Now that Trump has been elected, we know what we face. We must set aside fear and tackle this administration head on, just as we always have resisted in the face of a government that is not by us or for us.
2. Being Overwhelmed by Stress
“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”
– Maya Angelou
Self care will be even more important in 2017 as it was in 2016. We have to commit to disconnecting and taking time to be with friends and family who lift us up and remind us who we are. Letting go of stress does not have to mean being less active; rather, it means prioritizing one’s health and not pushing past your limits.
“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable. The goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle…the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
On the other hand, we can take up the challenge to act and to be there for the people and causes that need our help. It is easy to see an issue or a cry for help and keep going about our own business. Let’s make 2017 the year we lend a helping hand to all who need allies and support.
“We must remember that we are one, that our cause is one, and that we must help each other if we would succeed.”
This may seem like a strange quality to leave in 2016, but it is so important to reach out to those who care about us and can make us better. There is no point in isolating yourself and making it all about what you alone can accomplish. Asking for advice and listening to people, friends, advisors, and relatives will give you fresh perspective and strengthen your work. Collective growth, collective learning and support for each other will carry us through 2017.
“I write for those women who do not speak, for those who do not have a voice because they were so terrified, because we are taught to respect fear more than ourselves. We’ve been taught that silence would save us, but it won’t.”
2016 was a year that many of us spoke up for truth and justice. We may not have felt heard this year, but we must continue to use our voices and our platforms to say what we must and fight for what is right. Silence does not subvert the status quo, but enforces it. 2017 must continue to be a year of vocal dissent and advocacy for all marginalized people.