2020 can’t end fast enough. Most of us are looking forward to New Years eve and 2020 hindsight. It’s a year we would just as soon forget.
But even the worst experiences can be the best teachers. So let’s remember.
Let’s remember how Covid-19, the Coronavirus changed everything. How it taught us about Zoom, Google Classroom and forced the most recalcitrant institutions to become good at distance learning and working from home.
Let’s remember how science can alleviate suffering. Let’s share our admiration for the essential workers who kept showing up despite the danger, how our health care workers risked their own lives to save the lives of believers and non-believers alike, how the scientists at Pfizer, Moderna and other drug companies looked at vaccines in a whole new way, and how thousands and thousands of people selflessly stepped up to be part of vaccine studies.
Let’s remember how wearing a mask became the ultimate expression of love for one another and how we took the power of a human touch for granted until we couldn’t do it any longer.
Let’s remember how public servants professionally executed a nearly flawless election, and how there are still many, many people out there who don’t believe it.
Let’s remember the image of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, standing six feet apart on the world stage, reaffirming America’s commitment to diversity and democracy and how nearly half the electorate voted another point of view.
Let’s remember that a child born this year won’t know what the world was like before Google, Facebook, Instagram, Gmail, Amazon and Uber, and how so many of us spent more time looking at our screens than we did looking at one another.
Let’s remember the notables who left us in 2020: Alex Trebek, Sean Connery, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Eddie Van Halen, Kirk Douglas, Chadwick Boseman, Naya Rivera, Kelly Preston, Nick Cordero, John Lewis, Carl Reiner, Little Richard, Kenny Rogers and Kobe Bryant. I’ll remember my beloved sister, Judy, who taught us that sometimes we have to accept “too soon”, even as we would give anything for one more moment with a loved one lost.
Let’s remember what it was like watch lifelong friendships crumble over a difference of social media opinion, to lose a livelihood because of something we couldn’t control.
Let’s remember that reinvention is always an option, that new friends and new adventures await when you feel the fear and do it anyway.
Let’s remember that even when we beat Covid-19, when the economy comes rushing back as it always eventually does in America, that there will still be those without work, without a home and without enough to eat.
Let’s remember what it was like to watch the brave among us stand against hatred, lies and selfishness when those three cancerous words became part of the accepted lexicon for millions whose ancestors benefitted from acceptance, truth and generosity.
Let’s remember that good intentions can lead to bad outcomes. But to paraphrase Kent M. Keith, “Do good things with good intentions anyway.”
And let’s remember 2020 as a powerful reminder that it’s not how many times we get knocked down that matters. It’s how many times we can get back up.
2021 will require every ounce of courage we could summon in 2020, and then some. Let’s remember that this life we’ve taken for granted is not a spectator sport. Those who get in the game determine the outcome.
Let’s remember that we were all put on this earth to make it a better place for those who will follow us. 2020 hindsight can be a powerful motivator to be the change we hope for in the world.
A flood of forward progress depends on thousands of individual raindrops, skydiving in unison in the direction of tomorrow. Let’s remember that every one of us is capable of leaving just such a legacy.
The future of human race depends on it.