Editorial: 2016 — Creating a warm glow (one way or another)

2016 has been widely described as a ‘dumpster fire of a year’ — which is, of course, just a moderately clever way of saying that it has stunk.

And in many ways, this year has had all the charm of a large bin of burning garbage.

We’ve endured a lot on the global scale, from the loss of musical geniuses, including David Bowie, Prince and Leonard Cohen, to the bitterest and most contentious election in memory (the aftershocks of which we will no doubt continue to feel for a long time to come).

Then there is the fentanyl crisis that has led to a record number of overdose deaths, not to mention  Zika virus, ISIS and its role the ongoing refugee crisis and the affordable housing crunch.

It’s hard to blame a person if they just want to crawl under the covers and wait for 2017 to arrive.

Of course, by the end of 2015 — another not-so-great collection of 365 days — we were all anxious for the arrival of a new year, filled with fresh possibility.

And look how that turned out.

The good news is, with six weeks to go in 2016, it’s not too late to turn this one around.

Sure, we don’t have the power as individuals to stop terrorism or create affordable housing or stop people from overdosing. We can’t prevent our idols from dying or devastating natural disasters from occurring.

What we can do, though, is try to help make our own tiny piece of the Earth a better place than it is.

Whether that means pitching in to pick up garbage or clean up a stream, volunteering at a local food bank or shelter — or donating money to help a good cause — much of what it takes to improve people’s lives is within our grasp.

If you feel strongly about an issue, then by all means protest (peacefully) to push for change.  You may not get what you want in the end, but you’ll have done what you could.

That way, the warm feeling you’ll get will come from the satisfaction of knowing you did your part, rather than from the heat radiating off the metaphorical burning dumpster that has so far been  2016.

Just Posted

Mom delivers plastic mats to Langley’s homeless

Jenifer Kosman fashions sleeping mats from plastic grocery bags

Fraser Health asking taxpayers for millions more in health care capital funding

Health authority wants Fraser Valley taxpayers to triple annual contribution to $5.75 million

UPDATE: Man in mid-20s killed in targeted shooting in Abbotsford

Location of shooting the same as where innocent bystander Ping Shun Ao killed in 2015

Giants fall in six-round shootout

Visiting Victoria squad beats Vancouver 4-3 at Langley Events Centre

GALLERY: Giants host Royals in WHL action

Photos from the Vancouver Giants clash with the Victoria Royals at the Langley Events Centre

UPDATED: SUV fire at Langley mall (with video)

Firefighters respond to Fraser Highway incident

Vancouver hoping free public Wi-Fi expansion will drive tourism dollars

Mayor Gregor Robertson says expansion bolsters its “leading Smart City” status

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

Liberals’ 2-year infrastructure plan set to take 5: documents

Government says 793 projects totalling $1.8 billion in federal funds have been granted extensions

Workers shouldn’t be used as ‘pawns’ in minimum wage fight: Wynne

Comments from Kathleen Wynne after demonstrators rallied outside Tim Hortons locations across Canada

John ‘Chick’ Webster, believed to be oldest living former NHL player, dies

Webster died Thursday at his home in Mattawa, Ont., where he had resided since 1969

World’s fastest log car made in B.C. sells for $350,000 US

Cedar Rocket auctioned off three times at Barrett-Jackson Co., netting $350,000 US for veterans

Bad timing: Shutdown spoils Trump’s one-year festivities

Trump spends day trying to hash out a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

RCMP nail alleged sex toy thief

Shop owner plays a role in arrest

Most Read