2014: The Stories And Moments Of Our Year

2014

Or as it was known to the Armenians: 1463

Or to the Berbers in Northern Africa: 2964

The Korean calendar had it at 4347.

The Hebrew calendar split between 5774 and 5775.

The Shaku Samvat Hindu calendar puts us back in the “30s”: 1936-1937

Meanwhile the Ethiopians considered the year 2006-2007.

Despite global use of the Gregorian calendar (the one we use), there are many other regions and people of the world that maintain their traditional calendar as well. No one has a monopoly on counting the years–it’s just that the Gregorian calendar has been assumed as the choice to unify the globe.

Whether 2014 or 4347, how were your past 365 days?

You probably had all sorts of highlights, lowlights, and a lot of days and moments that mostly blend into the ether of the past. We realize this blending when picking out of this ether a particular time or event and then recalling how we felt while it occurred.

And we realize the quantity and variety that we’ve experienced the last year when breaking it down into the seasons, months, weeks, weekends, and days. At this point last year, I was….  How about around Memorial Day last May? Or Labor Day in the fall?

Graduation, new job, marriage, death, birth, divorce, move, travel, promotion, break up, lost weight, work project, new coworker, new boss, new car, new dog, cat, fish, plant, flatscreen, vacuum cleaner. A fishing trip, a trip to Target, playing golf, playing Candy Crush, a night out with friends, getting that speeding ticket, helping your child with their homework.

From the noteworthy to the everyday, there was a lot to our 2014s.

If each of us have our own highlights than certainly  as a collective, the world will have its doozies. These are for all of us to share. And I’m sure they will trigger some emotions–some “oh yeahs”–from you as you read the following.

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The Highlights of 2014

Remember back last February? A few worldwide events started in this month.

On a good note, February 7 saw the kick off to the 22nd Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Perhaps you watched some of the skiing, skating, or bobsledding.

Perhaps you watched the news around the time these Olympics wrapped up and caught the not-good news in Ukraine.

 

Nearing the end of February, and not too far away from these Olympic games, actually, unrest surfaced in Kiev.

As has been the history of this border region, the protests in February were motivated by the popular disapproval of the way the nation’s president was leaning the country. Pro Russia or Pro West? Ukraine is torn, and it ripped apart in 2014. Such protests and the police response occurring in mid-late February left over 100 dead. The president was removed, but while he may have fled, others entered: the Russians. They annexed parts fo the nation. Most notably, on February 27, pro-Russian forces seized the administration and government buildings of the island of Crimea.

Within days–practically simultaneously–Russia went from hosting an event of global diplomacy and friendly competition to invasion and takeover. This would be an ongoing conflict addressed by political heads of all the Western world.

 

While all this was going on in Europe, about 3800 miles southwest of here, a biological threat was born that would also warrant worldwide attention. The first Ebola cases were diagnosed in West Africa.

Late August in Liberia

The influence and impact from these events would be felt throughout the year. Time Magazine would go on to call the people fighting the front lines of the Ebola outbreak as their Persons of the Year. Here on The Periphery, we’d name our own individual with the most influence. Our Human of the Year went to Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin.

 

On March 8, a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board lost radio contact and was never seen again. To this day, it is presumed to be at the bottom of the Indian Ocean. This would be the first of a few airline tragedies in 2014. In July another Malaysian airlines flight would be felled by missile from actors in the Ukrainian conflict. And, just days ago, December 28, an AirAsia flight crashed into the Java Sea.

 

In the U.S. in April, there was a stand off in the wild west. Federal officers rounded up rancher Cliven Bundy’s cattle in Nevada for grazing on federal land.

With federal agents and supporters of Bundy brandishing firearms, negotiations took place to eventually have the cattle released to Bundy.

[This story was interesting for a number of reasons. First, each side of it can be spun to a compelling degree. One side reveals that the cows had been trespassing for years, so they were finally attended to by the feds. The other sees a government confiscating property based on unjust laws, and so are abusing their authority and in effect taking as they please. 

Second, despite the case the rancher and company made, newspapers revealed their leaning when cartoons predominantly sided with the government. Bundy and his militia men were easy targets

Third, Bundy is known for having an extreme anti-federal government view. I think it’s amazing that him and like-minded fellows were able to quell the government’s activity–at gunpoint–by demanding their rights and Bundy’s cattle to be returned. Then again, I’d later find it amazing that Black Lives Matter protesters could walk out onto freeways and block traffic for hours, and that many of them would do so as law enforcement simply sat back and watched. 

It was a year of protests in the U.S. (and elsewhere). It was also a year where these protests seemed to reveal a law enforcement willing to bend.]

 

June saw the rise of ISIS, the Islamic State, in the Middle East. Out of the ashes of U.S. led conflicts and the Syrian Civil War, this armed and determined group continues to hold sway in their efforts to create an Islamic fundamentalist state despite the subsequent re-involvement of the American military in the region.

 

As in February, the world stage in June and July was used for sports.

The World Cup took place in Brazil. It ended in July with Germany taking home the Cup.

 

On September 18, a peaceful attempt was made in name of independence and statehood.

Scotland was given the chance to vote for independence from England and the United Kingdom.

By a 55-45 margin…

…they voted against it.

William Wallace was shocked to hear this.

 

September and beyond saw protests in Hong Kong, when citizens there became angry at China’s limits on democracy.

Speaking of democracy, Americans voted in November. Midterm elections in the U.S. saw Republicans take control of the House and Senate branches of the federal government.

 

Leaving the planet, November also saw the European Space Agency land a probe…on a comet.

 

In December were the Black Lives Matter protests as mentioned before.

 

Finally in December, the U.S. announced the normalizing of relations with Cuba for the first time in decades.

Want to go to Havana anyone? That would make for an interesting 2015 getaway.

***

Such a review reveals the richness of experiences going on around the world. But you don’t need to land a probe on a comet to realize the excitement and beauty of life and all that is around you.

From the thrilling to the mundane, here’s to the blessing that is the chance to make 2015 your best year yet.

 

p.s. Here’s the #1 YouTube video of 2014

 

 

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