Reeling In The Year

Nick BrothersThe Free Weekly Managing Editor

Nick Brothers
The Free Weekly Managing Editor

There’s nothing original about writing a reflective column on 2014. I’m sure by now you’ve read your fair share of them on your Facebook news feeds and witty one-liners about the year on Twitter. Still, I wanted to take the time to look back on 2014 and step into 2015 standing tall if you’ll hear me out.

Since taking over the position as editor for the Free Weekly in May, it has been a sincere pleasure. I’ve gotten the opportunity to meet and interview all kinds of cool and interesting people who are responsible for so much of what the Northwest Arkansas community delivers. I’ve also lived a life-long dream of doing music festival coverage and getting to sit down and interview some of the best artists and musicians out there. That has been a treat.

Seriously, my work has brought me to forming a lot of pride for living in Northwest Arkansas. There are truly some good people here that want to do good, cool things, and they’re doing them in style. I grew up here, and it feels like the area keeps on getting better and better. I’m excited to see how it will continue to grow in 2015.

Looking back from what I can remember though, lots of bad stuff happened in the world in 2014. Thankfully, Northwest Arkansas wasn’t involved in much of it. A lot of the most notable bad stuff, such as the Nigerian school massacre, the Ebola crisis, the ISIL beheadings among their other horrid deeds, the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, Robin William’s suicide, the ongoing Syrian civil war, the Ferguson riots, and the Russia-Ukraine conflict made for some tough things to deal with.

However, lots of good happened this year, too.

Renewable energy took off in several sectors. For example, a solar car developed in New South Wales reached a record 87 miles per hour in June. We established relations again with Cuba, possibly ending the Cold War. Eighteen states throughout the U.S. struck down gay marriage bans. The U.S. added 2.65 million jobs this year, and unemployment lowered to 5.8 percent.

Recently, 200 nations agreed to reducing the fossil fuel emissions that cause global warming. That’s a nice precedent for improving the global effort to help our environment. Hopefully this mentality continues.

I also like to have the notion that for every bad occurrence, there is an equal good thing that happens somewhere else. Call me naive, but I think it’s there. I’m under the impression that most good things that happen in life come in the form of personal experiences. It’s also difficult sometimes to measure “good.” As a journalist, we often get the criticism that we hardly ever cover good things and give all of our focus to tragedies. There’s certainly many reasons why journalists do so, but a large one is it can be much harder to find the good, inspiring human interest stories that happen each day. Sometimes no one cares. That’s just human nature, I suppose.

Whether you personally had a good year or not, I hope we can find solace in the fact that life is going to carry on whether we like it to or not. We must continue onward and create our futures. Each day is a tormenting mystery, but in my stupid optimism, I think it’s still pretty wonderful to be able to keep going to see it all. That’s my opinion, anyway.

As far as my new year’s resolutions go? I don’t really do specific ones, but I try to keep a life philosophy: learn or do something new each day, and try to lessen the suffering of others. It comes from a quote I read by the great Neil DeGrasse Tyson. I think it’s a simplistic enough approach that’s easy to satisfy. Of course, I’ll try to stay as healthy as possible, too!

I’m pretty psyched for what’s to come in 2015, both with The Free Weekly and personally. We’ve reached the middle point of this decade, and we’re living through history. Let’s continue to move forward.

Thanks for reading. I’ll see you around.

Categories: Commentary