2016: by Fire and Sword

Happy New Year, Happy 2017, New Year, New Year's eve, Hope, Future, 2016-2017, Wasteless Future, what's next, Holidays 2017

The 29 cities I visited in 2016

As 2016 just ended, I would like to write something more personal. At the end of 2016, I did what most of us are doing this time of the year. I tried to recap what happened to my life on 2016 and to identify some core lessons I learnt. I tried to deal with things that, from outside, are difficult to understand and, from inside, are hard to explain. I spent lonely hours listening my favourite music (this year I fall in love again with Jasmine – you can have a sample here) trying to distil my feelings and insights from the last 12 months. Every year I am trying to find a single small phrase that concludes my personal path for the year that just passed. So, this is my quote for 2016: by Fire and Sword!

So, this is my quote for 2016: by Fire and Sword!

In 2016, I visited 29 different cities and took 148 different flights.

I spent roughly 500 hours flying, but I also spent more than 3 months digging deeply into the challenges of the 4th industrial revolution.

I made 36 lectures to more than 4,000 people (you can find a representative one here), but I also heard the anguish of a lot of friends about the future of waste management and recycling.

I admired the challenges and the potential of a brave new world that can be created due to the advances of technology but I was also frightened by the power of digital monopolies and the astonishing inequality.

I was elected as President of ISWA, but I also got very close to be bankrupted.

I did not manage to complete my first book, but I manage to add some great pages and new friends to my personal life album, like Timothy Bouldry, Magda Correal, and Toralf Igesund.

I was desperate with the on-going situation in Greece, but I also shared moments of happiness and frenzied joy with ISWA’s kids.

I tried to “set fire to the rain” but I was also thinking, many times in the middle of the night, the lyrics from “Solo le pido a Dios” (see an English version here).

“I only ask of God
That I am not indifferent to the pain,
That the dry death won’t find me
Empty and alone, without having done the sufficient”.

2016 was also the year I created the Wasteless Future Blog, something that was in my thoughts for several years. It was and it is a lot of hard work to keep it running but the 25,000 readers, the hundreds of comments and encouraging words and the decades of important contributions confirm it’s worthy. Thank you so much for your support, your friendship and your valuable but priceless suggestions.

A key-lesson I learnt: you may be bankrupted but you will never be broken if you have good friends!

After all, I am definitely one year older, hopefully a little bit more wise, and potentially still capable to fight for my dreams. As Earl Nightingale has written “Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway”.

All the best for 2017 my good readers and friends. We deserve a better world and we still have the option to get it!

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©2017 Wasteless Future Antonis Mavropoulos

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