What is the Definition of a Good Year?

By Armin Najmaie

By the time you are reading this, it is probably already the new year, and you have left 2021 behind.  But just for a moment, I would like for you to look back at that past year. On New Year’s Eve, I remember thinking to myself: “2021 could not possibly be any worse than 2020.” Well, I guess I was right…Or was I?  

If you look back at 2021 and consider every new problem, old problem, eureka moment, and challenge faced by the world, would you say that 2021 was better than 2020? What if you consider all of these criteria except on a personal level, then what would your answer be? The truth is that since we are so lucky to be living in Canada, our level of enjoyment compared to suffering is far better than in a developing country, where many still do not have the basic necessities of living, such as clean water and electricity. Now moving on to the global criteria for a good year, as you begin to reminisce about the major global events that happened over the past year, you start to notice something: the largest events were always negative. If you were to turn on the news, you would immediately see the banners streaking across the screen, flashing distressing new developments about the world’s countless problems. News broadcasts do this because the negative black hole sucks you in, making sure you don’t ever change the channel, a phenomenon multiplied exponentially by social media.  

This all ties back to the more significant point of this little thinkpiece – no matter how much good is happening around the world, as humans, we naturally always tend to focus on the negative. All this negativity constantly, endlessly, swirling around us has never proven to be good for our mental health. Even this entire article is talking negatively about the negativity in our world! All this seems so inescapable, and although this sounds cliché and unhelpful, things might start to look just a little more positive if you think for a brief moment about what you have, to be grateful.

Now, once again I’ll ask you: How was your year?