Thanks in no small part to the United States presidential election, some people are feeling pretty horrible about 2016. As we approach the new year, though, I believe we must accept the results of the election and focus our energy on the political fights to come, both at the federal and local levels. The next four years will see a significant political battle over how we Americans define our own country: whether we choose inclusivity or fear; whether we work together to support women and minorities; and whether we view our responsibilities to our foreign allies as moral obligations or as mere opportunity to amass power. Ultimately, while this was a frustrating and sometimes frightening year, it is still worthwhile to look for the good in the world around us, because approaching 2017 with a negative attitude will not make life any easier.
With that in mind, here are some photos to inspire you to continue to do good in 2017 and to remind you that there is still plenty of good in this country and in this world. The next four years are going to be challenging and difficult, to be sure, but we do have the ability to affect change.
This Man Made A Powerful Gesture To Show Muslims They Are Welcome In Texas
In response to violent incidents of anti-Muslim hate crimes being on the rise (up 67 percent in 2015 from the year prior, according to the FBI), Dallas resident Justin Normand made a sign to show Muslim Texans that they are welcome there. In a Facebook post, Normand explained that he felt motivated by his own Presbyterian religion to show up to support "marginalized" and "targeted" people.
These Girls Are The Superhero Team America Needs
Best friends Casey Pearlman and Yasmin Idris are Jewish and Muslim, respectively, and the two California teenagers created a superhero team, the Juslims, for Halloween.
Thanks To This U.K. Muslim Restaurant, "No One Eats Alone" On Christmas
Muslim-owned Shish Restaurant in London is hosting a free Christmas dinner for elderly and homeless members of the community. Shish will be open for six hours on Christmas Day and the sign in front of the shop promises, "We are here to sit with you."
Why Representation Matters, In One Picture
While the all-female remake of Ghostbusters received an astonishing amount of hate and the "worst misogynistic stuff" as director Paul Feig put it, anyone wondering whether the female-led film mattered to little girls need only look at this picture.
Whatever Happens In 2017, At Least We Had Obama And Biden
No matter what America's political future holds, at least we were treated to eight years of the greatest bromance this country ever saw. And who knows? Biden may run in 2020!
While these heartwarming moments cannot erase the damage and division in the United States, they can help show us the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel as we head into 2017.