2008 was a crazy year.
On the plus side, we saw history being made left and right: Barack Obama elected as the first black president of the United States. There’s nothing I can write about this that hasn’t been said already, but wow, what a spectacular event that was. It’s nice to see that your fellow citizens have the ability to surprise.
Before that Michael Phelps (yes he has a book) was on TV 24/7 as he dominated swimming in a way I haven’t seen since Flipper. And on the plus side his voice was MUCH less annoying. But seriously, the Olympics came and captured us like no other event really can, with everything from table tennis, to archery, to US gold in basketball, to the ever spectacular running (Usain Bolt anyone? Have you ever seen anything like that?!)
In the middle we had a “super collider” to help us figure out black holes, which didn’t work (and didn’t destroy the world as some suspected). I don’t know how to feel about this, but the pictures are AMAZING.
But 2008 wasn’t all wine and roses. We had a cyclone in Myanmar take 100,000, an earthquake in China with a toll of 60,000, terrorism in Mumbai and the fighting in Gaza raging on. The literary community also felt the loss of such luminaries as Randy Pausch (Last Lecture writer), Alexander Solzhenitsyn (exposer of the Gulag in Russia), Michael Crichton (writer/producer), Tim Russert (TV personality), Bobby Fischer (chess star), Sir Edmund Hillary (first climber of Everest) and Bill Melendez (Peanuts animator).
Don’t get down reader. Let’s talk numbers. We have officially raised over $5.2 million for global literacy. We’ve sent 1.4 million books to non-profit literacy programs (including over 1 mil to Africa). We’ve saved over 8,100 TONS of paper from landfills. And all this was possible by having 200+ of the smartest and hardest working folks in the land as employees.
2008 will be remember by many as a year of new beginnings–huge changes in business and huge changes in government–but may it be remember by all as a year where we all did what we could to make it better. And it’s only going to get better in 2009.