At times, 2016 has felt like some sort of sick joke that’s not even remotely funny.
I’m not going to list off all the things this year that didn’t quite, er, go to plan, because you can read about them literally everywhere else on the Internet.
But you know how when you’re having a bad day, it’s easy to overlook the good things that are happening all around you? You begin almost wanting to feel hard done by?
Yes, well, 2016 is that bad day. And, in actual fact, some absolutely remarkable things happened over the past 12 months that we ought to celebrate. Here are 22 of them.
- There’s now a vaccine for ebola
- The World Health Organisation has reported the rates of malaria globally are down by 60 per cent.
- Giant pandas, green sea turtles and humpback whales are no longer endangered
Giant pandas rebound off endangered list https://t.co/RQyBRcIBZY
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) September 4, 2016
- Global aid has increased by seven per cent
- Spain is getting rid of streets named after fascist leaders and is instead naming them after women. Because women are like, significantly, more impressive than fascists.
- Three words: Joe. Biden. Memes.
Biden: can i put whoopee cushions under all the chairs before he gets here
Obama: joe im on the phone
Biden:*muttering* u didnt say not to pic.twitter.com/qfjh3ffkPE
— rudy mustang (@roostermustache) November 11, 2016
Obama: “Joe, why are you still holding my hand?”
Biden: “I wanna freak Mike Pence out”
Obama: “But why?”
Biden: “Just roll with it” pic.twitter.com/o5KZZ0Ysgz
— thomas moore (@Thomas_A_Moore) November 12, 2016
- The ALS “ice bucket challenge” — you know, the one a bunch of us rolled out eyes at in 2014 — led to a medical breakthrough for sufferers of motor neurone disease
- Suicide rates decreased globally
- Ninety three per cent of the world’s children learned to read and write this year, which is only the highest percentage in all of human history
- The Rio Olympics saw the introduction of the first ever Refugee Olympic Team in an effort to “show solidarity with the world’s refugees”. Yusra Mardini, 18, had fled Syria only a year before and saved the lives of 15 refugees she shared a boat with.
- Sea World no longer breeds captive killer whales
- Leonardo DiCaprio won that godforsaken Oscar
— Ashley Weatherford (@sincerelyash) February 29, 2016
- According to the New York Times, diseases such as colon cancer, dementia, and heart disease started declining in wealthy countries this year.
- Women dying from pregnancy and childbirth have almost halved since 1990.
- Quartz reports the life expectancy in Africa has increased by 9.4 years since 2000.
- World hunger has reached its lowest point in 25 years.
- The inaugural AFL national women’s league was announced in Australia
Overall it was a bloody brilliant year for Australian women in sport. Listen to Monique Bowley and Alicia Sometimes discuss.
- Australia appointed its first female Chief Justice of the High Court.
- Germany took in an additional 300,000 refugees
- As of April, the death penalty has – for the first time – been declared illegal in more than half of the world’s countries.
- The hole in the ozone layer has shrunk, and some scientists have predicted that it could fully repair itself as soon as 2050.
- Five-year-old Murtaza Ahmadi was photographed wearing a Lionel Messi jersey, crafted from a plastic bag. And then he met him.
It's impossible to argue with - there is a damn lot of good in the world.