Who saw any of what happened in 2016 coming? This is the year of surprises and defied expectations.
Go back in time, mentally, to the end of last year and think about any predictions you made for 2016. Has the year turned out anything like you expected? If you say yes, you’re either joking or you have an actual time machine, in which case, I would like to borrow for a minute (well, it will seem like just a minute to you).
We as a people generally like it when things go according to plan. We set up a plan, we have some expectations of how events will unfold, and we are hopefully prepared for what results. If the events of 2016 have taught us anything, it’s that anything can happen, both good and bad, and we should never forget that lesson.
Let’s take a look at some of the surprises this past year has brought us.
- The world lost a number of great, entertaining and creative people this year. The first and perhaps biggest loss to me, personally, was David Bowie. The news of his passing came as a shock to everyone. His music greatly influenced my life, and I shall be forever grateful for the art he created. I do hope, however unlikely, that he actually transcended this plane into a higher form of existence to become one with sound and vision.
- A virus previously known for causing no or mild symptoms has upended parts of the travel industry. The outbreak of the Zika virus through South America before the 2016 Olympics and its risk of spreading through the Caribbean, southern United States and other areas of the world stunned everyone. The stunning part was not only how quickly it spread, but the health risks newly associated with it, namely causing microcephaly in infants born to pregnant mothers infected with the virus.
- If Marriott International’s announcement in 2015 of its plan to acquire Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide wasn’t enough of a surprise, China’s Anbang Insurance Group came out of left field with an offer that led to a brief bidding war over Starwood. Marriott eventually prevailed, but there were a couple of weeks there when no one knew what would happen.
- Terrorists continued their attacks on European cities—this time in Brussels, Belgium. Three bombings killed 32 people and injured more than 250.
- On a lighter note, Leonardo DiCaprio actually won the Academy Award for best actor.
- Cleveland sports finally ended its 52-year curse when the Cavs beat the Golden State Warriors to claim the NBA Championship.
- Voters in the United Kingdom defied expectations and voted in favor of exiting the European Union, shocking the world and even those who voted to leave. The world is still reeling from this unprecedented move, which upset currencies as well as geopolitical and business relations.
- The two teams to battle out the 2016 World Series: the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Cubs. Seriously.
- The Chicago Cubs won the 2016 World Series, ending the team’s 108-year drought.
- A businessman and former reality TV show host will be the U.S. president for the next four years.
These are only a handful of some of the year’s weird and unexpected events. There are plenty more—some good, some terrible, some meh.
The point of this is to remind you that nothing is sacred. Take nothing for granted going forward as anything can change in an instant.
Also, remember that there is still about a month and a half of 2016 left, so there’s time for that meteorite to hit the Earth, as so many people were hoping. Would that be too expected, though?
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