If I were told to choose 3 words that best describe this year, these would be it. I know, it really sounds awfully pessimistic and all. But no matter what people would say, these would be it.
Starting from the Christmas of 2010 to the beginning of 2011, there was a nationwide activity in Japan that cought the attention of millions of people. Dubbed "the Tigermask Phenomenon"(long story about the origin of the name), it was an act of charity where schools were given school bags by anonymous good-willed people with notes saying, "please give these these to the less fortinate children". It started out like that, but that quickly spread out to all of Japan, and sometimes the bags changed to notebooks and pencils, etc.This was how 2011 in Japan began, with an air of hope.
It all happened suddenly. 2:46, the quake. In less than an hour, the tsunami that washed up- no, gobbled up whole towns. Then the Fukushima daichi Nuclear Power Plant's disaster.
A lot of people were thinking, "this country is done for". But the people of the tsunami-hit towns and villages were resilient.
They were back fishing after a few months after the tsunami, even though their homes were washed away and still living in temporary housings. I can only look up to and respect their toughness.
The "ending" and "beginning" holds different meanings too.
This was also an year of revolutions in the Middle East, the "Arab Spring".
Starting with Tunisia, lots of dictators' regimes were ended by the tough protesters, bringing a beginning of a new era to their countries. Gone are Mubarak. So is Gadaffi. (Kim-Jong-Il deserves an honorable mention too I guess.)
It was also the year the space shuttle program ended.
For 2012, I can only hope it will become a brighter and happier year than this.
Provided the world doesn't end in 2012, that is.