By Linda Cako
2017 was supposed to be the year we were going to see change. And change we saw. Not all was good, like President Trump’s Muslim Ban, North Korea starting to flex its emerging nuclear prowess, and the UN warning us that we are facing the largest humanitarian crisis since WWII with up to 20 million people being at risk of starvation in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan, and Nigeria. There were three powerful hurricanes to hit consecutively, and France ended its State of Emergency after two years of attacks and will start having a more intense police presence throughout the country instead.
Clearly, it was not the best year for global issues.
Some changes and events, however, were good and celebrated throughout the world, such as Australia passing it’s Same-Sex Marriage Bill. The first gene therapy treatment for cancer, Kymriah, was FDA approved in August and has already begun to be used on patients with leukaemia and is being considered a miracle cure, and Google’s DeepMind AI taught itself to walk.
It was a time of great change in Forest Hill as well. We changed school principles, had our very first dance, and said goodbye to great teachers and hello to new and old faces.
While it seems that every year we want to label as The Worst Year Ever, 2017 was hardly the worst year. Scientific discoveries gave us hope for the future and made us realize how far we have come as a species, and emerging politics made us understand how far we have yet to go to achieve our goals of becoming a more fair and just society.
Going into 2018, it’s time to reflect how we want to proceed. What pressing issues must we address? What issues have inspired us to make a change? What do we have left to work on? Even as a high schooler, we can all make an impact. All it takes is to find your passion and advocate for change. It does not have to be enormous. Small steps eventually lead to great distances being crossed so it’s never too late to start.
Ms. Fuentes’ said in her first speech when she came to Forest Hill that she wants us all to take advantage of our unique positions to make a difference in the school. How do we want to leave Forest Hill? Better than when we entered it, for sure. Whatever the definition of better is to you, take 2017’s lessons and make something good come out of change.
Linda is a grade 12 student at FHCI and is a Social Issues Editor for The Golden Falcon newspaper.
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