2020 was a year full of new experiences. Some were wonderful, some were scary and horrible, some were not much different than years before but with a pandemic context. Ten or twenty years from now we will be telling 2020 stories. This last year will stay clearly in our memories embedded in the bottom of our brains. These experiences are now part of the foundation of our perceptions and reactions – that is how powerful I think this year has been.
Seeing the public health and political emergencies play out directly in our daily lives or impacting our culture are without a doubt unprecedented. Whether we have experienced the untimely death of a loved one or just survived a bout of Covid19 ourselves or in our family, our community has changed. Like it or not, the work world and economy has changed. Remote work and ordering everything online is here to stay. The struggle to define what an individual can and can not do to protect the many is being examined and redefined forever.
Also being redefined is our trust in our political institutions. Who do we trust them to give us honest information? How do we arrive at a conclusion that ground our actions? How do we manage our emotional reactions as we confront the reality of living together? Never before has our long-held bias toward others been so directly addressed. Racism, classism, sexism; have shown themselves as never before in the struggle of social and environmental justice.
For me it has become even more important than ever before that we heal from our pains of the past and transform the fears of the future to productive, positive plans and actions. As we begin this New Year, I offer a deep heart felt thank you to all. Each and every one us who has helped another human being personally or professional to get through has made us all better this past year. This care, concern, and love expressed last year and individually has spread to their families, communities, and in doing so has come to me. Again, thank you and welcome to 2021.