It would be a serious understatement to say 2020 was a year of challenges, especially to those grieving the loss of loved ones to the deadly coronavirus. The old year is past and the new year ushered in.
In that span of time, all of us have lost something — some of us have lost everything. None of us will ever be the same. That is the cut that hurts the most.
Many have gone from fearing they might never come back to losing hope they ever will. It is a note that we do not want to end the year with, but it is a reality we begin the new year with.
The things that we do not want to return in 2021, that most assuredly will, are the combative public rhetoric in our politics and the politics of the coronavirus — the other thing that will most assuredly and unfortunately come back will be the constant drum of fear and gloom
COVID-19 has denied many, of the once innocent belief that our institutions, preparedness and leadership would propel the nation, and by proxy the world, through any crisis, and the virus would be no exception.
The old year, 2020 has certainly taught us otherwise. It is a lesson minorities have known for generations, because the government has consistently failed us; now, however, the suffering is widespread, and government’s failure is more apparent than ever to more people than ever.
Everyone understands the needs of small business owners and employees to be able to work and provide for their families. Currently, it is a matter of leadership and choice and not providing a viable solution to this dilemma is also a choice.
More money should be allocated toward the goal of supporting business owners and their employees without risking lives, but the government thinks otherwise. Instead, leaders have adopted an unspoken policy of acceptable loss that is unfathomable.
Again, 2020 offered hard lessons, yet there is hope during every storm. COVID-19 treatments have improved as those in medicine learned more about the virus and how to treat it.
Vaccines are now being deployed with the promise of constructive improvements toward eventual virus containment, although much remains unknown about long-term side effects of the vaccine or the illness.
In addition to hardship and death, the virus helped shine the spotlight on systemic inequities and inspired a new group of warriors of all races, creeds and colors to join in the movement for change.
Whether it was funding minority nonprofits, supporting minority-owned businesses, aggressively evaluating data to leverage for change, pushing for new/changed laws as it relates to criminal justice reform and policing, declarations from municipalities, businesses, nonprofits and others acknowledging racism as a public health crisis, and understanding more about the impact of adverse childhood experiences and toxic stress on minorities, etc.
Certainly, the virus has changed us, demands for police and criminal justice reforms have challenged us, calls for systemic and institutional equity propels us and experiencing life’s final common denominator on such a massive scale should unite us.
Like generations faced with similar challenges throughout history, the question is whether we will choose to remain in the hopeless muck and mire of 2020 or reach with hope for better days to come?
According to five-time American Grammy Award winner, jazz lyricist and vocalist Dianne Reeves in her 1982 album Welcome To My Love: “All the things you ask, you will know someday but you have got to live in a patient way. God put us here by fate and by fate that means better days… we are all moons in the dark of night, ain’t no morning gonna come ’til the time is right.”
This New Year 2021 marks a new beginning, the right time for change but we must choose to make it so.
As for me, I choose hope in the better days I know are coming, and like everyone hold firmly to that hope. We laid the foundation for change in 2019.
Now, it is up to us to keep working for a better tomorrow. God knows we need something to aspire to — a purpose or someone who will take us to a better place.
If 2020 taught us anything; it taught us that that the journey upward will not come from a politician, nor will it come from the loudest voices, which means it would likely come from within us as a people. That might be the best news for 2021.
Naturally, this is just my opinion. I’m keeping it real.