Our Internet searches say a lot about what happened this year.
Fact: 2015 was kind of an amazing year.
I know, I know, a lot of terrible things went down. That's also a fact.
It's easy to want to crawl into a hole after thinking back through the past 12 months:
- The Syrian refugee crisis (got a whole lot worse).
- Cecil the beloved lion (was killed).
- The confederate flag (is still a thing that some people support).
- Paris (was rattled by unthinkable terror ... twice).
- A woman's right to choose (continued being targeted with inexcusable violence).
- Jon Stewart (said goodbye to primetime).
- Kim Davis (was heralded as heroic by many).
And as the year ends, yes, many of us are asking each other, "How did our world become such a mess? But don't let that question fool you into thinking everything is terrible.
Because even though 2015 was rough, it really was also ... sort of amazing.
More diseases were eradicated. Global poverty continued to fall. In the U.S. — where millions more Americans gained access to health care — it was confirmed that marriage equality is a constitutional right.
#BlackLivesMatter brought the fight against racial injustice and police brutality mainstream. The world rallied together to slash carbon emissions and combat climate change. We have more trees in America now than we've had in the past 100 years. And we finally figured out the color of that damn dress.
Still not convinced 2015 actually rocked? Look no further than Google's annual "Year in Search" video.
Yes, the list certainly reflects our obsession with scandal and celebrity culture — Amy Schumer, Charlie Sheen, and Kylie Jenner all make appearances — but it also highlights our desire for social progress.
"In 2015, the questions we asked revealed who we are,"Google notes. Questions, like these:
How can one person do their part to help Syrian refugees?
Here are a few ways how.
Why can't women be Army rangers?
By the way, now they can.
How can we trounce out racism?
We can start by acknowledging white privilege.
How can we rebuild a country devastated by an earthquake?
You can start by supporting organizations that are helping to fix the heartache.
How can we find world peace?
...Now that's the million-dollar question.
It's understandable to feel down thinking about all the awful things happening around us. But you shouldn't.
The world can be a scary place. But don't let the 24/7, "if it bleeds, it leads" news cycle beat you down.
There's more good out there than there is bad. 2015 is proof.