Looking back at 2018

William T. Robinson, Jr.

William T. Robinson, Jr.

This has been a very tumultuous and challenging year. While we have had our highs, we have our share of devastating lows, culminating in excessive mass shootings, unapologetic hurricanes and tornadoes, devastating floods, unrelenting fires, and political disappointments and chaos. No doubt these are trying times, but this year gave us a reality check on our vulnerabilities. When possible we should strive to do better in recognizing and combating the combatants bringing about many of these national disasters.

We must acknowledge that we can no longer allow political differences to impede our progress in effectuating positive solutions that adhere to the future of our children as well as our country. The racial divide and hostile climate (especially felt this year) perpetuated by this presidential administration must be addressed and abridged by the masses of citizens who are willing to put what is in the best interests of the country over political party loyalty.

This year can serve as a learning experience. If we choose, it can catapult us in the right direction to better serve this country. It is imperative that we put our subjective views aside and be objective making decisions based on the facts available or evident.

This year, it was the consensus of numerous studies by experts as well as concurring events that we would be better served by recognizing that global warming is real. We should institute more measures to reduce or impede its devastating results as it affects our environment. We must be committed to insuring our children a safer environment in the future.

The Affordable Care Act was a contentious subject this year with some politicians seeking to recede it if possible. We would be better served as a nation if we who are insured or can afford medical care help those with less/no coverage or with preexisting conditions, so that they can afford the same medical care we enjoy. Most Americans support a national healthcare program. It only seems to be the right and humanitarian thing to do. We cannot continue to let pharmaceutical companies and other healthcare providers motivated by excessive greed to continue to hold the American people hostage with exorbitant costs. Honestly, there must be some common ground where all parties involved can reach a happy medium.

2018 made us more aware of the racial injustices visited on African Americans and people of color, culminating in the wrongful death of several Black men or other people of color by law enforcement agents. The reoccurring acts contributing to senseless deaths of young Black men by law enforcement authorities could not help but support the Black Lives Matter Movement, which demands justice and changes in law enforcement agencies’ practices.

The Me Too Moment this year was very instrumental in targeting sexual assault and abuse by men in powerful positions to the extent of bringing light to or ending the career of several alleged abusers.

However sad, this problem is so prevalent it is a win for the numerous victims once afraid and living in silence.

There are some people who would argue that the worst loss this year was the integrity of our nation, not standing up for truth and justice, allowing lies and deception to be considered acceptable or even the norm. No doubt 2018 only confirmed that far too many Americans were devoid of a moral compass.

There was a bright side to 2018 manifested by the willingness of so many of our neighbors to come to the aid of those suffering from catastrophes reeked by human nature. The acts of kindness and actions of first responders and the individual acts of kindness by individual citizens were commendable and inspiring. It was a reminder that there is still hope and promise when good people work together for the betterment of humanity. I believe the majority of the people of this country are good, caring and considerate, wanting the best for all—especially the downtrodden and marginalized. I also choose to believe that the lessons from 2018 will offer us an incentive to ascribe to hope and a commitment to work to make this country what we know it should be.