Cheers To 2012!

With Christmas behind us and a new year about to begin, we are drawn to reflect on the events of the year just passed. Overwhelmingly, we have been accosted with news of more tragedies than we should have to endure, and some days it has been difficult to find the bright spots in it all. I wanted to wrap up the year here with a list to remind us that 2012 was more than just a year of rapidly escalating protests, political upheaval, and tragic gun violence. Here are ten examples from the US and the world that offer a glimpse progress and success from this year.


10: Legalization of marijuana in Washington state and Colorado

9: Governor Chris Christie and President Obama joined together to work through the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy; a rare example of voluntary bipartisanship

8: Open endorsement by the White House of same-sex marriage

7: Election of Tammy Baldwin (D) to the Senate seat for Wisconsin, the first openly gay candidate to win a senatorial seat. This is one victory of many that made the Senate more liberal overall

6: The demographics of voters in the 2012 presidential election shifted heavily toward Millennials and minorities, with President Obama winning 60% of the youth vote and 71% of the Hispanic vote

5: Ang San Suu Kyi, long time human rights activist and Nobel Prize winner, took oath of office to parliament in Burma

4: The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act, also known as “ObamaCare”, in a 5-4 ruling

3: Egyptians protest a decree that would grant President Morsi almost complete power in that country, and win by a 64% majority in their latest election

2: The passage of same-sex marriage amendments in Maine, Maryland, and Washington state, and the defeat of an amendment in Minnesota that would have outlawed same-sex marriage

1: President Obama’s re-election. Duh!

However you celebrate the season, whatever your beliefs and regardless of the negative experiences you have endured this year, I hope you are able to take cheer in this small sample of the good things we have experienced and achieved.