6 Lessons We Learned in 2017
2017 was… unpredictable, to say the least.
There were many highs and lows, but we persevered in hopes that we would improve upon mistakes and take steps to prevent them.
So what were the lessons that 2017 imparted on us?
Let’s have a look!
Be more accepting of others
The past few years, we’ve seen a major movement of migrants from the east to the west, mainly those trying to escape violence.
In response, we’ve seen the best and sadly, the worst in many people. But this is where we must take a stand.
Instead of criticizing others and their need to live, we must be accepting, and gracious.
If history has taught us anything, it’s that there will always be a time when we’ll need to depend on each other. We cannot afford to be so callous as to turn the needy away.
Accept Your Faults
With the Rohingya crisis, we saw a sheer ignorance on part of people’s empathy for the population, the belief that ‘unless something is happening to me, I don’t care’. And that’s a major flaw in the system.
It cannot be denied that had something of that scale happened in the developed world, we would have been in an uproar.
We must accept our fault that we have been unaware of how self-involved we were. We must accept that as the greater power, we must do more.
Surround yourself with positivity
2017 was a toxic as well in some ways. Hatred and prejudice was being actively preached, with people believing that it was a right way of thinking.
Instead of letting ourselves be carried away by toxicity, we should instead not only surround ourselves with positivity, but we must preach it as well.
We should strive to be better versions of ourselves.
Do not let your anger or hatred overwhelm you
In every investigation into school shootings in 2017 (and 2018), we saw one trend – the shooter was a troubled young person, a loner, someone who was bullied or was rejected and had had enough, and decided to take their anger out on other people.
What we learn here is this; as a young person, we may think that the life we have right now, that’s it. But you’re growing and you’re learning constantly. You will learn so much about what is right and what you were thinking was so wrong.
Instead of letting your anger overwhelm you, you must look at the bigger picture, and depend on time, that it will pass.
Be gentle, and yourself and others
Mental health was a major topic of discussion during 2017, especially due to the sharp rise in suicides. It didn’t help that many students that committed suicide did so because of bullying, which only exacerbated their pre-existing mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.
This is why we stress you to be gentle, to let go of the anger and be good to others and yourself. Bullying does not accomplish anything. Neither does it solve your issues. When you bully someone, you only end up making yourself feel worse, because you end up bullying yourself as well.
And keep in mind that bullying someone else doesn’t need to be physical intimidation. Bullying can be gossiping about someone behind their back, encouraging others to not speak to them, making fun of someone or excluding them.
The #MeToo movement gave us a harrowing look at how men and women abused consent and personal privacy to do what they wanted.
As a part of the youth, you must understand the importance of consent.
No means no.
It is not an affront to your personality. It is their choice and it is your duty to respect their choice. You respect them for more than what you think they are. You don’t think of them as a target for your praise or your liking. You respect them for the person they are.
And as an ally, you protect them from those who may be trouble.
Join the Youth Community
Another thing we’ve learned from 2017 is the importance of community!
If you want to be a part of the community and help others learn the right way of things, join organizations such as Youth with a Future, which offers urban youth leadership development programs in different states.
Do your part to further educate the masses on the lessons that the previous years have taught us!