It’s a relief to bid 2020 adieu. A year that brought unprecedented economic, health and political hardships to America.
As is the case with really hard times, we can learn so much about ourseves and others if we pay attention, and reflect. COVID-19
Those of you who are extroverts (I’m not one) had to slow your social roll. Reduced face time; reduced personal engagements, reduced outings.
For those who, sadly, lost jobs or businesses you’ve had to change your lifestyles, and in many cases ask for help. Nothing teaches like being in the position to have to ask for help.
For those who suffered the ultimate loss-the loss of loved ones and friends-you may have had to mourn without even the simple comfort of a hug. Many of us had to miss the ceremony of funerals and memorials for our loved ones. My heart goes out to you.
For students, you’ve had to make adjustments in your young lives that affect the way you learn and connect with friends, and live life. Things will, soon, change. I hope the loss of some of your freedoms will push you to appreciate the things you DO have.
Before Covid rocked us on our heels, we were outraged by another slew of police shootings of black citizens. Covid-19 gave us the time and bandwidth to reflect on where we really stand when it comes to championing racial justice. A lot of people read books, and gave money and time to the Black Lives Matter movement. Some of us were changed, forever. Let’s continue to work and fight for the fair treatment of ALL of America’s citizens. It’s not only the right thing to do, it’s the ONLY thing to do to keep our divisions from growing wide and wider.
Men (so far) have come and gone from the most important position in our democratic Republic. We’ve reeled from 4 years of chaos, fear mongering, and mean spiritedness. We can do better, and in my abundant optimism, I believe we will. If not, like the perils of ignoring racial injustice, we will have what James Baldwin invokes in his seminal work on race, The Fire Next Time.
So, Happy New Year. We can be hopeful, and look forward to more peace and grace and trust and good works. But, we can’t be complacent, or sit on our laurels, or revert to our old ways. If we do, 2020 will be a preamble rather than an anomaly.