2016 has hit us hard.
We've seen hate spill blood, constantly, and watched those in power do nothing to stop it. We've seen women and black and LGBTQ people literally beg to not be harmed, only to have it thrown in their faces. We've just watched fearmongering and racism dominate the UK, with who knows what consequences.
And to top it all off, we keep losing the icons we grew up with.
We keep losing our heroes.
But this isn't a post about how bad things are. Anyone will tell you, I'm a practical optimist. I believe good can win, but that we have to fight for it.
When the old heroes die, new ones have to step up.
It's your time. Your time to make a difference. Do something, anything, to bring some good into the world. You don't overcome fear and hate by wishing them away or quietly stewing. You do it by showing the rest of the world that you won't succumb to despair.
The world is begging for people to do great things. To end wars, cure diseases, change unfair laws, spread love. No matter who you are, there is something you can do to make the world a little bit better.
Become a doctor. Volunteer at a shelter or clinic. Give to charity. Join the police. Run for office. Vote, for the love of all, vote. Teach your kids love, compassion, and acceptance. Join the school board. Buy a meal for a homeless person. Sing. Hug a friend who needs comfort. Talk to people who are suffering the most, let them know they can count on you. Paint a picture. Make art. Write a book. Tell stories where the good guys win. Laugh. Start a business. Reach for something bigger than you are. Every one of you has had a dream at some point in your life. Go after it. Be relentless in your goals and let nothing stop you.
And while you do this, always be the best, kindest, person you can be. You might be a great success, you might fail. If you do, you can always get back up and start again. Do not let this hard world beat you to your knees. Because it will, if you let it.
Not everyone can be the biggest hero. But not all heroes are big. Some are small. All are important. And some day, somewhere, you will be the one somebody looks to at times like this, when the world needs heroes the most.
Those people will see you. They will hear you. They will need you.
Be a hero, even if it's just for one person.
Monsters can be beaten. Monsters must be beaten.