It is only natural that the New Year makes us think about the future. The deaths of too many famous persons during the year and in particular during the last few days such as Carrie Fisher and George Michael, have hit us hard, but History is not only made by famous people but more often by those we least expect. Every New Year is seen as a beginning, but this is not true, every January 1st is but one step in a path that began with the Big Bang.

History is always being written

Journalism is sometimes described as History’s rough draft. It gives us the first hints of how our lives will be remembered and we all have memories of truly historic moments that marked our lives.

For some it was the death of John F. Kennedy, for some it was the Moon landing, for many it was 9/11 and so we can continue. We read the newspapers and think we know where the world is going, but it would be a mistake to think that we fully understand what will be the impact of any new event or invention.

It would be too easy to say that one such event will be Donald Trump’s inauguration on January 20th, or the next decision by Russia’s Vladimir Putin. They are big players on the international stage, but only historians in the future will know what they will achieve or fail to achieve in their period of power. Politicians are simply the signposts of their eras and will all be judged as such in the future by what they achieve. The true history makers are those who elect or follow these leaders.

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The true history makers

History is made up of people, from the humblest to the mightiest and each one in some form or other contributes to writing the History of the Human Race. Every human being has the capacity to commit some act that will make life better or worse for all of us. It may be the scientist who begins studying mold which became the first steps towards the discovery and development of antibiotics. It may be university students who wanted to create a means for students to keep in touch which then became the social media which changed daily habits around the world. It may be a father who told a story to his children during a long car trip and transformed it into a bestselling novel that inspired millions around the world.

Some do so by interpreting the works of others, such as the actors and singers whose passing this year have affected us so much. Others may dream of finding a place in the world and join one of the terrorist groups because they had been rejected by the society into which they had been born.

Others still, the great majority of history makers, do so simply living their daily lives and creating the conditions which allow some to be able to become politicians, artists, inventors, or terrorists.

There are those who create history by being present at a certain important moment and becoming the focus of world attention that gives us photos of tragedies. A child injured by napalm in Vietnam, a drowned refugee child washed up on the beach, a man in a China who faces down tanks during a protest and the volunteers who help save people after earthquakes and other tragedies. Every moment is important and it is tragic that some of them will be forgotten, but their actions live on in one form or another.

What will happen in 2017?

The New Year begins on Sunday and we have no way of knowing what will happen. Some are scared of the future because the past hurt them, yet we must learn the most important lesson taught by history. Despite the thousands of years of apocalyptical predictions, the human race has survived. Yes, it has its problems to solve, but it has also developed the tools that can allow these solutions to be found.

The truly historic moment will be when we finally understand that we humans are all the same and that the perceived differences mean nothing. We can only hope, as we do each year, that this will be the year it happens. #Inauguration Day #Carrie Fisher #Donald Trump