Every year, Time magazine selects a new person as their person of the year. This means that the actions this person has taken over the year, either good or bad, influenced the events of the year. If I was lucky enough to choose a nominee for this honor, it would be you. All of you. Everyone reading this would be my choice for Time’s Person of the Year.
You may be wondering why I would choose you, but think about everything each of you have overcome. These past two years were some of the hardest years anyone has had to face. All individuals reading this have survived a global pandemic and that is something to celebrate. We are getting back to our normal lives, and although we aren’t quite there yet, we are close. Every day people are facing more than just pandemic and post-pandemic life.
Every day, good things and bad things happen. Some of these events are caused by our actions, and other events naturally occur. Some people have started small businesses, others have taken this time to focus on themselves. I am not saying everyone is perfect, because I know I am far from it and would not hold others to standards I cannot meet myself, but I like to think the good outweighs the bad. No matter what decisions we make or what path we follow, each and every one of us does something good even if it is small to make up for the bad we have done.
After everything we have faced, we still found a way to come out on top, and that is no small feat. It may seem like just another obstacle we need to survive, but we are so much more than that. We do not give ourselves nearly enough credit. My little spiel might not mean anything outside of the Monmouth University community, but you all deserve to be acknowledged. I say to hell with only celebrities and public figures being recognized. It is time the underdog is recognized.
It makes me so mad that the “average” person is not recognized because we don’t have thousands of dollars to throw around. What we do have is ears to listen, time to give—no matter how limited—and empathy for those around us. Being a good person, someone who can influence events of the year, is something anyone can do. Recognition should not be based on money rather than the actual things people do. Everyone has done something to be recognized for, but if you only recognize one person a year, there is no way everyone could be recognized.
That is why I think it is important to show everyone that they matter. Everyone here deserves to not only be nominated but also chosen for the Time’s Person of the Year. These years have been some of the hardest years of our lives and we still have a lifetime of ropes we need to jump over, but we are going to jump over them. We aren’t done making our difference yet.