I realized when I woke up this morning that today is the last day of 2012 -- the year when the world was supposed to end. While the world did not exactly end, it somewhat did for a lot of people like those at Fukushima and other parts of Japan that were hit by earthquakes. Surely the world must have seemed to end for the parents of the children killed in a school at Newtown, Connecticut.
But despite all the killings, plane crashes, suicide bombers, tornadoes, tropical storms, earthquakes, and all the other bad news of 2012, I tend to look more for what went well or what events were positive. Many come to mind.
One bit of news certainly worth celebrating is the removal of India by the World Health Organization (WHO) from the list of polio-endemic countries. As of this writing, only 3 countries (Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan) remain polio-endemic. In contrast, there were more than 125 countries in 1988.
Sometime in May scientists at California's Stanford University developed the first prototype of a bionic eye. The following month, the world's first stem-cell assisted vein transplant was undertaken by a team of Swedish surgeons on a 10-year old girl.
There were notable developments in the fields of culture as well. The Vatican, Oxford University and Bodleian libraries have agreed to make themselves available on line. The Great English Bard, William Shakespeare must have turned with joy in his grave after a team of archaeologists announced the discovery of remains of the Curtain Theater, where some of Shakespeare's plays were first performed. Edward Munch's famous painting "The Scream" sold at an auction for $119,922,500 (photo below).
There might have been a lot of blood shed and lives lost in 2012 but there were many developments too that point to goodness, greatness, beauty and nobility.
As for me, the worst in 2012 was my loss of faith. On the on other hand, the best that happened to me was that I found faith again.
I celebrate that, during this last day of 2012.
- Ariel Murphy