It’s almost time for you to go. Most of us are excited – a new year means new opportunities, a second chance, a new beginning. The feeling of hope and excitement and anticipation are back in the air.
Some probably don’t want you to leave. You had been the best year of their lives. We’d all hoped that you would be our best year too. That’s how we treat every new year. But then things don’t work, resolutions remain mere scribbles on paper, and it really doesn’t end up being the year it was meant to be. For most of us, every year turns out to be a disappointment. We welcome it with hope, our dreams carried in our hands, and when they fall out of our grip, we heap all the blame upon the year.
2016, they say, was like the end of the world. The war, the hatred, the global warming – they blame it all on you.
We, humans, have that habit. We do not care to accept our mistakes; we like to point our fingers at others. Perhaps we have too-large egos. Or perhaps we’re too scared. Either way, it’s not your fault.
It was not your fault that so many refugees left behind the feeling of home. It was not your fault when parents lost children, children lost parents, friends lost friends. It was not your fault when the world cried for the boy the sea left at the shore, innocent and lifeless. It was not your fault that we closed our ears to anything that did not mirror us; that we choose to quieten the voices of truth with the noise of bullets and decided to wipe it clean with blood. The truth is this big thing that is very hard to handle; most of us can’t deal with it. Many fear it, and when the fear gets out of hand, we take to violence. You, however, do nothing.
It was not your fault, 2016, when we failed to accept the beauty of those different than us. Different voices, different skins, different languages, different forms of love, different minds looked dangerous to us. We defined people by their skin colors. We defined people by what they chose to wear. We defined people by their choice to live. When the differences were too overwhelming, we chose to spit hatred on the face of beauty and diversity. We forgot, that we ourselves are a part of the very diversity we despise. It is common human behavior, I assure you. We forget things very quickly.
It was not your fault when religion turned into a competition and we hated those who believed in the same universal power but chose to give it a different name. We defied religion’s very purpose – that of unity, peace and love. God didn’t ask to be better than Allah. Ram didn’t ask us to forget our values if the person in front of us didn’t believe in His existence. Humans, you see, are difficult students. They need time to understand. Some of us never do, but then, we’re mortals.
I’m not making you feel any good, am I, telling you you’re not to blame and giving pathetic, meaningless excuses for acts of misogyny and homophobia and Islamophobia? What we have done cannot be excused. Ever.
Humans may be mortals, but we posses power that equals that of the universe. We can change our lives through our thoughts. We can create a billion new things everyday. We have the power to move someone just through our words. We hold the world in our hands. We have enormous power, and there might be more to it than we might have realized. My excuses are invalid. We all started it, and it is in our hands to end it.
It’s not your fault.