This time of year is for giving. Where families and friends come together and share gifts, monetary or not. At the same time, it is a time of reflection. As we prepare to usher in the new year, let’s take a look back. What did 2016 bring?

This year we saw awareness through the crises in Turkey, Syria, France, and Orlando.  They stopped us from focusing on what is happening in our own little worlds and opened our eyes to the evils and atrocities happening everywhere.

We saw unity. Where in Kenya, people of different tribes who sometimes do not see eye to eye, come together to speak out against the absurd levels of corruption. While many Zimbabweans, regardless of class, demand answers as to the state of the economy.

The tragic earthquakes in Italy and Ecuador, brought collaboration. As many shared not only tangible resources or relief efforts, but also offered comfort, sympathy and empathy to those affected.

We also saw resolve, when we watched Brexit and the US presidential elections unfold. Where people came out in large numbers to play their part in major decisions for their respective nations.

Through the #blacklivesmatter movement, we saw enlightenment. And it opened up an honest discussion about the racial injustices minority groups face daily.

Even as we end this year in the midst of these happenings, let’s read between the lines. If you ask me, 2016 was a great year. Questions were asked, resources were shared, conclusions were reached and progress was made.

So this giving season may be the most wonderful time of year. But what’s most beautiful, is that the giving happened year-through. Because without realizing it, we all, in our own ways, gave the most valuable of our assets to the world. Time.

Merry Christmas everyone.