2017: A Dystopian Novel
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Politics and Activism

2017: A Dystopian Novel

"​If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever" - George Orwell

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2017: A Dystopian Novel
What's Your YA Dystopian Name?

"If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever," - George Orwell

The end of 2016 left this nation at a mid-season finale; a cliffhanger of sorts. One leader's rule is coming to a close; the other's is just beginning... And no matter where you stand, the divide is unavoidable. 2016 has been a rocky ride in terms of politics, the environment, social justice, and just about every other issue under the sun. At this rate, 2016 will be nothing but a prologue to an epic tragedy or just maybe, the story of a nation that overcomes divisions in hopes of salvation for all. While amends and repairs are possible (hell, they're a necessity), I fear the damage cannot be undone.

"Experience teaches only the teachable."- Aldous Huxley

2016 was a year of regression; it's undeniable. A lot of issues that had been buried for quite some time had been resurrected and met with shock and awe from all angles. Historically, there has only been so much tension and hatred a nation or a group of people can tolerate before total fallout. Historically, humans have had the misfortune of blindly following leaders based on empty promises and the need to blame issues on entire groups of people. Historically, we have failed to learn from our mistakes. Presently, we have still failed to learn from our mistakes.

We have become unteachable. We have become so stuck in our own ways and so obsessed with our fragile egos that we can't accept our reality. We can't accept the need for change and advancement because it's different from what we're used to... And we can't accept the fact that we might be wrong. Conserving is a wonderful concept when the structure is not broken, but you cannot conserve a house with a faulty foundation. You'd just be pouring your money and your energy into a void of misplaced hope, covered by decent intention.

We've regressed in the way we think. We've become more concerned with regulating the female anatomy than we have with saving those who are already living and breathing on this planet. We want to control the minds and lives of everyone, but refuse to offer support and protection to those very same people. We all must think, act, and love the same... And this mentality is more than unrealistic: It's dangerous.

"The propagandist's purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human." - Aldous Huxley

One of the most prominent issues of this past year has been widespread division. Whether it be along the lines of race, religion, sex, sexuality, etc, 2016 exposed issues that many believed had long been resolved. We learned that not everyone believes that all lives truly do matter. 2016 was a huge year for police brutality: An issue that had previously existed, but was brought to the spotlight after countless unjust murders. The war in Syria proved that maybe all lives matter, but some matter more. Children were killed, hospitals were bombed, and people begged for aid, yet the world was silent. We confused a retweet or a share with being a helping hand, instead of being a sort of pseudo-keyboard savior, but for many of us, that was all we had the power or control to do.

We decided that profit and pipelines were more important than the very thing that keeps us alive. Masses rallied in support of the end of a pipeline that threatened the livelihood of an entire group of people. They supported the fight to maintain one of the most basic human rights, yet even a win didn't end the progression of the black snake they'd feared for centuries. We continued to disrespect the people who "owned" this land originally, clouded by the judgement of men in suits with dollar signs for eyes.

2016 was a year that brought rise to an even deeper "Us vs. Them" mentality. We mistook ignorance for danger and senseless violence for security. We became comfortable and complacent with seeing a large number next to the word, "dead," and expressed our remorse for a moment, before moving on to who insulted who at which Broadway show. We became desensitized in more ways than one. Desensitization had become the norm.

"There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self." --Aldous Huxley

Hope for the future lies in the improvement of the individual. This is not to be set on a standard, but to be custom tailored to the needs of each human being. Let 2017 be the year we stop focusing on the how others perceive us, but how we see ourselves. Sure, this nation is in an extremely divided state, but let that give rise to the most intelligent and empowered people this world has ever seen. Yes, it is difficult to not let the wrongs in the world overpower the rights, but it is a necessity if we have any hope of coming out of this relatively unscathed.

"Most ignorance is vincible ignorance. We don't know because we don't want to know." --Aldous Huxley

The first step is admitting it: We're a mess. We ignore issues, not because we don't see them, but because we don't want to see them. If the issue isn't occurring in our backyard, we've become far too comfortable with stating that the issues simply does not exist. We are regressing in more ways than one; this is not open for discussion. The second step is amending: We've identified the issues, or at least begun to, now is the time to start formulating solutions, rather than restating the issue over and over again. The final step is hope: When all else fails, at least we have this. Nothing is ever as bad as it seems, although right now it is difficult to believe this is the case. No wound is ever too deep to mend; we just have to allow ourselves to fix it. We have to allow ourselves to admit our wrongdoings and suppress our egos before issues become too widespread to resolve.

Here's to hoping that the end of 2016 marks the end of the issues that came along with it. More realistically, here's to hoping that we can learn from our mistakes as quickly as possible. Unless this nation, and the world for that matter, amends itself and allows for improvement, 2016 will be nothing but a prologue to the inevitable dystopian novel: 2017. May the odds be ever in our favor.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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