2016 in review: of the world at large and how far we’ve come

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A few weeks ago on Youtube I discovered a new song by Chinese pop star A-mei, ‘Sister 2016’. I clicked on it to find out that this song recently celebrated 20 years since its first release. A song that is still fresh in everyone’s memory but has already survived 20 years in the Mandarin-speaking societies, impressive.

Some other important milestones include 15 years of mandarin pop girl group, S.H.E., and 16/17 years from Stefanie Sun, Jay Chou and Jolin Tsai, who have all now become parents in their 30s.

In the western world, 2016 has been dubbed the year of the reaper, taking away the lives of many iconic figures, mainly in the entertainment and fashion scene. David Bowie, Muhammad Ali, Prince and one of my idols in fashion, Franca Sozzani, who is the editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia and the driving force of fashion and models in recent times.

How can we forget all the sadistic and depressing terrorist attacks that has happened this year – Belgium, Paris, Nice, Aleppo, Istanbul, Berlin and the list goes on… If only the world can be more tolerant of each other, be open and understanding. We definitely cannot take the safety in Singapore for granted.

Or what about the shocking Brexit announcements and Donald Trump as the President of the United States from 2017? I never want to touch politics, but from a logical point of view, the citizens must have their dismay which got them to follow those who were willing to address and highlight these angering issues.

Moving on to the triumphs: Singapore won its first gold medal at the Olympics thanks to Joseph Schooling… and honestly I can’t think of any others? Pardon my ordinary brain for remembering the negative news just like anyone else.

And what has all these got to do with individuals like us?

Unfortunately, we have moved backwards in terms of being an encouraging group of mankind. The news tends to broadcast the negative ones because we seem to more interested in them. We can’t seem to do much in helping others. We always seem to want people to perform to our expectations, I can’t help but be perturbed by these.

I’m no superhero, and I’m not an influencer. I’m just an ordinary guy here like any of us – I do get affected by what people say of me, often not of pleasant nature. But I can do something. I complain less, I say thank you more often. I wish for the better of people too.

But I have flaws too. I see ROI in everything and I can’t seem to neglect. I talk about people, I don’t work with people I don’t like, I create imaginary rankings on things and people.

And I choose not to listen sometimes. I didn’t decide to delete my Instagram for no reason – the world is indeed too noisy. People feeding you with likes and compliments, people telling you what they like and dislike, people showing what they have in their lives that might be better than yours.

And it is really okay. Listening to yourself does not mean living in denial, but merely staying true to yourself.

To a better 2017 – Jee

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