It’s cliche to start a recap of a decade with an “It was one crazy 10 years” and overly exaggerate details of the 2010s. Yet, looking back on everything that has happened, crazy is an understatement. So how exactly should we look back on this decade?
One way is to look at it in a pessimistic sense. Endless tragedies ranging from foreign to homegrown terrorism, senseless violence seen throughout the world, deaths of legends from the past and icons of today, and a controversial election that undoubtedly divided the country, among many others. 2010 has force-fed us a liberal dose of misfortune that makes us wish we can move on to the next decade and hope it won’t be a repeat. Yet, is this the only way we can see 2010?
Many of us believe this decade was the start of a modern-day cultural renaissance, whether or not one may look at it as our way of life progressing or regressing is in the eyes of the beholder. From Hip-Hop and Rap officially replacing Rock as the genre listened to by the masses, a larger look and idolization of celebrities, fashion ranging from modern-day flashy clothing to retro aesthetics, and respect and tolerance becoming widespread for the LGBTQ+ community especially after the legalization of Same-Sex marriage, the importance of social media and phones as it becomes the central device in our lives. Not to mention “meme culture” rising among the youth, something that shouldn’t be elaborated on since we can all look back and properly remember the memes that we have obsessed over.
Though, this again is not the only way we can look at 2010. We can even look back at the good and the hopeful. With reaction to the bad, we can see the good. People uniting over good causes and rising above the bad. From our country coming together to mourn after shootings, to the whole world uniting as one after tragedy after tragedy. The good in people still exists over the superficial and the evil, something that won’t change no matter what decade.
Each decade has “belonged” to people, someway they all have defined the 10 years. Such as the ’90s belonging to Kurt Cobain and the grunge movement, or the ’60s belonging to hippies and all the other people who sought love and peace. So who does 2010 belong to? Some artist who made music that has impacted many, or a politician who say they have fought for his or her constituents? In my opinion, 2010 belongs to the first responders of the Boston Bombing, to those who shielded young children from senseless violence, to the men and women who helped those in need after an environmental crisis. To all those who mourned and are moving on to the new decade without their loved ones, to those who have left the world leaving their legacies for us to remember, to those who have helped their fellow man through hard times and those who are still suffering to them into the next decade. To those who have made mistakes, who have been wronged, who have forgiven, who have moved on. To those who hated each and every year of the 2010s and those who loved it. To those who push for a better change from the ballot boxes to marching on the streets for whatever cause. To those who have loved and cared, and those who still have trouble loving themselves. 2010 belongs to them. And it was one crazy 10 years.