I know, I know, just enough of the 2016.

But this is one that just can’t let go.

January 1, my wife and I got up, skipped church, and watch “CBS Sunday Morning” (a favorite past time if we are not going to church). I HIGHLY recommend this show simply become it’s not just a “news” show, it’s a show about people, about life, and I cannot help but smile after watching it.

This show was no different. “Hail and Farewell” was a reason a friend could not watch, the show’s remembrance of those who’d passed on in 2016. So many people passed away this year who’s sole purpose on this Earth was to create joy and happiness. Prince, Glenn Fry, Merle Haggard, Phife Dawg (A found member of “A Tribe Called Quest”), David Bowie, George Michael, and so many others. Their music, their songs, what they did was to express that joy of life through their music. All of them, gone.

Being a Star Wars junkie, the death of Carrie Fisher hit home. Muhammad Ali, a mountain of a man, both physically and in the world, was a huge loss. And William Christopher, Father Mulcahy on M.A.S.H. And the list goes on and on.

Now, why? Why now? Why in 2016?

As we watched this, we talked about the reason behind all these passings. Of course, the typical parade of disease, drug issues, and the litany of other reasons why people of all ages will die.

But as we talked, we continued to come back to one thought: hatred.

2016 was a year where hatred bubbled to the surface of our common collective, where we saw people openly talk about their dislike of cops, whites, African Americans, Muslims, Jews, refugees, gays, lesbians, liberals, conservatives, and Barney the Dinasour (ok, I’m making that one up). Could it be possible that this past year’s deaths were a combination of old age, disease, and that negative, dark undercurrent of hatred that’s been opened up?

I don’t know, but it certainly stopped me in my tracks and really made me think about the energy that I put out there.

However, as we continued to talk, “Face the Nation” came on. Now, typically, we’d shut the TV because, honestly, I don’t want to hear Republicans and Democrats, conservative and liberals, fight over which side is the biggest bunch of horse’s rear ends. But, last Sunday, their panel consisted of a white man, an African-American woman, a Muslim woman, and the child of undocumented immigrants who were deported when she was a teen. Each of them wrote a book, documenting their “American experience”, each a unique to their obvious social and ethnic differences. There was no arguing, no name calling, nothing of the sort, it was just four different people speaking of how their experiences, good and bad, have shaped their lives. The discussion they had was fascinating to watch, and I got four new book ideas too, always a bonus! 🙂

So, 2016, I’m not going to miss you and your angry ways. But if anything, you showed us that we need to open ourselves to what it means to love, to be positive, and to show others what that love looks like, in real time.

Because, what else is there?