The Year of You

The other day my friend posted a link on her Facebook page called “26 Inspiring Moments That Restored Our Faith In Humanity This Year”. As I was reading this utmost beautiful piece, I realized that amidst the cruelty, abuse and horrors that humans commit, the majority of us just want to live normal, peaceful, and safe lives.

Actually the majority of us are not only “normal”, but I think moral and just, as well.

Call me naive, but at the end of the day humanity is good.

Just like there is no atheist in a foxhole, I do believe that for the most part there is no wicked human on the earth. Remember, I said “for the most part.”

Whenever someone is on their deathbed their last wish is to be with family and friends, not to kill the man next door that has always been bothering him.

The opening scene in one of my favorite movies, Love Actually, proves this point. The narrator was explaining how love can be found anywhere and everywhere but the best place to find the most diverse and universal form of love is in an airport. Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, husbands, wives etc from all corners of the world give their loved one their last kiss goodbye or their first embrace hello.

With this goodness and the desire for a better tomorrow, humanity can bring about change. Whether change in their education, health-care, leaders, and so on. This has never been so relevant until this era. The era of social media. Social media is the one of the few tools that Obama doesn’t run and that the UN can’t veto. It is a tool run through the power of people from all seven continents and from all four corners. Just like the past thousands of years, humans commit the act, but for the first time, humans can now publicize and promote.

2012 was a year of humans. From the Arab Spring, to the Olympic Games, and the US presidential elections to the Iranian nuclear threat. In this day in age it continues to marvel me how much power we possess. As a blogger myself, I am constantly on my stats page in awe as to how many thousands of people around the world my blog, Newest Sabra on the Block, reaches. The same applies with the journalist, the painter, the film maker, the photographer, even the high school student who is simply changing his Facebook status. Communication has never been so immense, widespread and important.

Social media is a vital tool. People now rule. People make the change, not the aristocrats, not the upper class or the monarchs, but the regular people. People’s opinions matter and at the risk of sounding cliché I will add that people’s opinions make the change.

As social media increases and as I get more involved in the ways of the world, I truly find it inspiring how people no longer accept the protocol, but instead campaign for change.

I was recently watching a TedX video on Youtube by an Israeli graphic designer named Ronnie Edry. Recently Edry realized that all the civilians of Iran were accused of helping to create a nuclear Iran, which is simply false. Taking advantage of the age of social media, Edry began a campaign called Israel Loves Iran. Edry created a poster which stated “Iran We Love You”. Overnight, and quite unexpectedly, the poster was seen worldwide and Edry’s campaign for peace began. Edry now produces posters for Israelis to Iranians and vice versa.

I believe that too often we are too caught up in the politics of the world and are blinded from the goodness of the world. The goodness of people. The power of people.

Sadly, the everyday person doesn’t make the newspaper, instead politicians do. But people have the ability to change the outcome of the politicians and decision makers if social media is used the correct way.

People have more say than ever and that say counts more than ever.

In 2006 the Times Person of the Year was a little someone called “You.”

However, in 2006 I was too young to appreciate this idea that you, along with all your aspirations, thoughts, and motives could be nominated as a Times Person of the Year. In 2006 I wanted someone interesting or someone famous. I felt that “you” was a poor excuse for them not having anyone else to nominate.

However, here I am as 2012 is coming to a close and I say the 2012 Person of the Year is indeed You.

You, along with all your talents, personality, flaws, opinions, mistakes, quirks and goodness is what makes the world spin round.


About the Author
Lottie Kestenbaum was born to British parents and grew up in New Jersey. To add to the identity crisis, Lottie made aliyah in August 2012. Hello tri-citizenship! She is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Holocaust Studies at Haifa University and living in Jerusalem. Yes, it is a shlep. No need to mention it :-)