With us only being within the eighth month of the year, I bet 2020 brings much more to the mind than any other recent year before it. Without a doubt, the current year we are in is not an easy one as we have been dealing with political upheavals in the wake of a new election, civil unrest demanding social and political reformation, and a deadly global pandemic that we may not even be halfway through yet. In ways, 2020 has felt like an amalgamation of several years' worth of events and catastrophe brought into one. In other words, it is completely understandable why living in this year feels like an unending boxing match between us and the tests brought with time.
When it comes to 2020 however, it is easy to take the bad that has come our way and leave it at that, even leaving behind possible good memories made in our lives regardless of what is going on. When discussing this year with a close friend of mine, he stated that we are "living in interesting times" and that oftentimes than not, living within a time-frame considered as such is not completely positive and without trials. While the times we live in will definitely take an entire curriculum on their own, it is somewhat eye-opening knowing that with time, 2020 can be viewed as a necessary evil and a blessing in disguise. Normally within human history, arduous times often bring with them important lessons for us to grow as human beings and as a society. 2020 is definitely one of those arduous periods that we need to remember in order to move forward.
Normally the first thing that comes to most peoples' minds when reminiscing on this year would be the COVID-19 global pandemic that swept the globe and our summer plans. With many lives lost, livelihoods in shambles, and a daring race towards a vaccine to save many more lives, the entire pandemic brings with it an eerie and dreary sensation we hardly felt altogether in a while. Many of us were required (and still are) to remain in place and stay safe, even if it meant sacrificing the family dinner or the long awaited concert trip with friends. As a result, mental health and income were dropping like flies for several people across the world, but when looking back to the onset of the pandemic, there seems to be an underlying message brought with it. Just imagine where you were and what you routinely did before the world flipped upside down, did you go to bars, restaurants, and to crowded beaches every weekend during the summer? In other words, we all had a tendency to indulge on everything pleasurable at every opportunity. But without those extra things in our lives for a seemingly long time period, a positive way to imagine this is that we were forced to reflect on what we will always have despite losing the aforementioned commodities. In my time, I was reminded that I always have my family, my friends, my home, and myself at the end of the day despite how much I felt was lost. What about the movies and the conventions? Throughout the summer, many have decided to take on more outdoors-y means of enjoying themselves including fishing, hiking, jogging, and even learning to garden. Enjoying nature on its own and without any outer distractions can be a way to improve one's outlook on the world and change the things they prioritize when it comes to life activities. In hindsight, as a whole, looking back on what we had all throughout what feels like our lowest point can always remind us of what we have and be appreciative of the stuff we have and the natural world for what it is.
One of the most important lessons that can be learned from this year is that we all can unite against a common obstacle. Asides from this being learned during the pandemic, this can also be learned from the Black Lives Matter movement. With the political landscape in an incomprehensible state, the need for reform was clear as crystal. With many cases of unjust killings either being discontinued and injustices being brought to light, the public came together and rallied for a reformation on how the African American communities were to be treated by law enforcement. While the coverage and imagery that is shown do not tend to be pretty or even approachable at times, it is a reminder that the hardest of periods are often necessary for us. The last major event that reminds me of the current one is the Civil Rights movement several decades prior and how we all grew as a society thanks to it. While the BLM movement has invited polarizing realizations and the clashing of ideals, this is no different than what previous generations have grown from and regardless of where it goes, it is evident that this can and will be a shift into a permanent change that allows for societal enlightenment for decades to come. The movement itself will echo across generations and it will hopefully be a harbinger of unity and total compassion for the people around us in the future.
As a whole, 2020 has not been as smooth as butter, but what if that is the point of it? Again it is easy to shirk the year for how frustrating it has been for us, but at the same time it is imperative that we learn from it so that 2021 and onward can be better for everyone. The year is not close t being over and neither are the major world events that were discussed, but as with every trial and difficulty in life, there is always a lesson to be learned from it. Maybe 2020 will be remembered as a wake up call, making it a blessing in disguise rather than the year we all despise.