The Land of Oz: The Clean Slate

Derek Osborn is the Executive Director of PRIDE of Tuscaloosa by trade and writer by hobby. He lives in Tuscaloosa with his wife Lynn, and daughters Savannah and Anica.  Derek Osborn is the Executive Director of PRIDE of Tuscaloosa by trade and writer by hobby. He lives in Tuscaloosa with his wife Lynn, and daughters Savannah and Anica. Derek Osborn

2016 was kind of a dumpster fire, wasn't it? 

Let’s think about it a minute, and then expeditiously move on.

The amount of influential people that we lost was near unprecedented. Just a few of the names include John Glenn, Muhammad Ali, Gene Wilder, Arnold Palmer, Alan Rickman, Prince, David Bowie, Carrie Fisher, Merle Haggard, George Michael, Alan Thicke, Nancy Reagan, Maurice White, Glenn Frey, Gwen Ifill, Harper Lee and countless others who deserve recognition. 

There were those that died too soon … the shooting in Orlando, the airport attack in Istanbul, the Nigerian church collapse, the alligator at Disney, the bombings in Nice and Brussels and various other parts of the world, the Chattanooga bus crash, the thousands of drug overdose deaths in this country, and the multiple civilian and police shootings around the U.S. – just to name a few. 

Then there was the historic drought that plagued Tuscaloosa and was far worse in other cities in the Southeast. Parts of Gatlinburg went up in flames. More lives were lost. Many other communities fought wildfires as we went over 60 days without measurable rainfall. Yet, there was historic flooding in Louisiana. And let’s not forget Hurricane Matthew, which at last count had claimed around 900 lives by itself. 

Then we have the political landscape. 

My, what a banner year 2016 was. 

For many of these occurrences, we are as helpless as an owner of a sick goldfish. But for many of them, we are not. The New Year is all about a clean slate and resolving to improve; to be more tolerant; to be healthier, mentally and physically. Most importantly, we need to be better citizens, better Americans, and better representatives of the human race. Ultimately, we all need to try and do better than we did last year. 

2016 wasn't a total loss... at least the best football team in America still resides in the middle of town. And hey, we got turn lanes on McFarland and 15th Street!  That's progress. 

2017 already promises a large array of changes, and hopefully more for the good than for the lousy. They say you're either moving forward or backward, and on many levels last year it seems we backpedaled more than we advanced. 

But now we’ve all got a clean slate. Let’s put something good on it.  

I tweet insignificant things @ozborn34.   

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Derek Osborn

Executive Director at PRIDE of Tuscaloosa, the only  non-profit agency in the Tuscaloosa area that informs and educates the parents, students, and community about the use and abuse of alcohol and drugs.

Website: www.prideoftuscaloosa.org/

Druid City Living (DCL) is Tuscaloosa, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.

 

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