So, we can all agree that this year had its share of upsets, I mean, we lost Prince, Bowie, and Princess Leah….Nuff’ Said. However, amidst the tragedies, there were a few good things that happened as well. Here at TrainUp, we like to stay positive, and so we would like to remind you of the best things that happened in 2016.

This year the human race made enormous strides in both medicine and global conservation. Ebola was eradicated in West Africa, and pandas were finally taken off of the endangered list! Malaria deaths declined by 60%, and green sea turtles are no longer facing extinction. People and animals have even more reasons to celebrate because that’s not all. The manatees are being saved, and world hunger is at its lowest rate in 25 years! In March, Yellowstone national park reported its grizzly bear population had made a jaw-dropping comeback, making the park a haven for one of North America’s most magnificent native species.

Speaking of grizzly bears, Leonardo DiCaprio finally won an Oscar this year for his role in The Revenant, a movie which personally made my palms sweat as I watched from the edge of my seat in the theater. Speaking of sweat, Pokémon made a huge resurgence with the release of Pokémon GO! Getting people up and moving, and sweating, out in the sunshine and fresh air in order to catch-‘em-all.

Yep, the entire world had quite the year. In America, Harriet Tubman also was selected to be printed onto the twenty dollar bill, making her the first woman and African American to grace our currency…FINALLY!

In the world of sports, how ‘bout ‘em Cowboys! (Our corporate office is in Dallas Y’all, we’re cowboys’ fans here). Furthermore, who could forget the historic season for the Chicago Cubs?! A century-long curse finally broken as the Cubs won the World Series! Hooray 2016!

All around the world good news was happening this year, although we just often didn’t hear about it. There were a few firsts that we should definitely take a moment to recognize. Did you know that this year, Norway became the first country in the world to commit to zero deforestation? Did you also know that across the sea, Denmark became the first country to no longer define being transgender as a mental illness? Also this year, the world saw its first ever refugee Olympic team! Those are all wonderful things to celebrate!

And finally, in the world of technology, we were introduced to a few breakthrough ideas. We now have super fun and entertaining virtual reality headsets, and for the first time ever, scientists flew a solar-powered plane around the entire world!

So there you have it, 2016 wasn’t all that terrible. It had its good moments. As we countdown to 2017, we must remember the social, economic, environmental, political, and technological strides that we made this year. We should keep these improvements in mind as we look forward into what the year 2017 holds for each of us.  Let’s try to be the best versions of ourselves that we can be, and work together to have an amazing 2017. Happy New Year everyone!