this year, the people were smacked in the face with hate for no reason and for every reason; the wrong political party, the wrong race, the wrong religion, the wrong home, the wrong way of standing up for themselves; they made them angry, afraid, uncomfortable. this year, the people had to protest; they took to the streets, to the playing fields, to the classrooms, to the halls of government. this year, the leaders ignored the people; passed legislation that hurts the people, gave in to hunger for power and money, kept their own interests at heart, never listened to the letters and the whispers and the phone calls and the chants coming from every direction. this year, the people outed their abusers; “he pushed me,” “he grabbed me,” “she drugged me,” “he raped me,” “me too”; “i was fourteen,” “i was drunk,” “i was too terrified of him/of losing my job/of what my parents would say to tell anyone,” “me too”; “i am never letting this happen again,” “i have stayed silent long enough.” me too. this year, the shortcomings of the people and the corporations caught up with them; fires ravage the west, hurricanes drown the south, the midwest is 40° warmer or colder each day; the globe is warming; more and more species go extinct; the president passes legislation to make the problem worse and blames everyone else. this year, terror; mass shootings, cars running people down, hate marches, genocides; the flag at half mast for months on end; the fear tactics ceasing to work because the people are at once used to them and afraid all the time. this year, we suffered; the beauty of everything was drowned by the black tar of hate and tragedy and pure ignorance. this year is ending. next year has to change.