Goodbye 2020. How long have we waited for this moment? Since March, when a two-week lockdown morphed itself into a life changing experience, tragic circumstances and fear have somehow managed to pierce the security of our former lives.
Without a doubt, humans are a social race. If nothing else, the pandemic has refocused our everyday interdependence.
Our need for each other drives everything from religion to commerce. And while we are starved for the equilibrium of a new normal, we have slowly come to realize there may not be a status quo to which we can easily return.
The implications of 2020 are enormous in almost every aspect of our culture. While recriminations come quick and easy, the pandemic’s duration has endured long enough for us to see a different future almost everywhere we look.
For many, the pandemic inverted our perceived measure of wealth and value. Heroic stories of frontline workers, often among the lowest paid in our society, were elevated to “essential” status. It remains to be seen how this will translate within our ingrained system of commerce, but for sure we now understand the equality of each citizen’s social wealth.
While 2020 brought much economic hardship, tragic deaths and social pain, including the reckoning of race, it has also been like a massive storm clearing the land; new seedlings have been planted, the fruits of which we can imagine but cannot yet see.
Life will be different, especially in view of polls that indicate many of us have become less active, and many happily so. Work from home is a thing, and online sharing has seen exponential growth in value and will likely play a role even when we so called “return to the office.”
From a political point of view, we somehow have to accept this newfound acceptance of equal value to relearn how to listen to each other again. Citizen vs. citizen, especially debating vague concepts, is a race to the bottom that rewards neither side.
We are reading more, thinking more, and finding new ways to add value to our lives.
All of this is happening amid the generational shift from baby boomers, so there is much cultural appropriation happening as well. It is obvious that the disillusionment of one generation fuels the ambitions of the next.
We should all remember those we have tragically lost, rejoice about the new seedlings of opportunity that have been planted and work together to cultivate and harvest the best of who we can be.
That is the history of America. From every national crisis, our system has managed to produce natural reform within a new foundation of opportunity.
While we are fractured, we are not broken. While we are offended, we are still within reason. While we are split in our politics, compromise and understanding still promises tempered solutions for all.
Among the pages of the Event-News Enterprise, we cannot thank our readers enough for being a great example of community. We have seen events that enflamed public opinion to many extremes this year, yet our readers both shared their opinions reasonably and encouraged our coverage of same.
So, while we are all happy to say goodbye and good riddance to this bittersweet year, we can welcome the new year with equal parts anticipation and realistic expectation.
For sure, future historians will say 2020 was a year of profound change that nearly broke America. How we respond in 2021 will likely determine the full measure of how good, or bad, it really was.