As cliche as new year resolutions are, I’m a total sucker for them. There’s something about Year in Reviews and self reflection that just ring, “me!”. 2020 certainly isn’t an easy year to reflect back on, but dismissing it as “the year that didn’t happen” is simply not true. If 2020 has showed us anything it’s that 1. We still have a lot of work to do regarding social justice, health care, schooling systems etc etc and 2. When we’re forced to lockdown, we learn to sit (or lie) down and evaluate what really REALLY matters for us.
Based off the long list of things we still need to work on, my number one wish is that we learn to develop more empathy for others. Since the 2016 election, it has consistently felt like a battle of extremities that often feel irreconcilable. People are born to be different, and conflicts therefore naturally arise. But the root cause of the friction is when we fail to understand others’ perspective and show embrace for others. When we continuously make judgments about differences, we actively cumulate mental invalidation that explode into arguments, culture wars and even mass shootings.
Yes, I despise selfish rich people, and yes, white supremicists are the bane of my existence, but how often do we take a step back and see where they’re coming from? Of course, this needs to be mutual otherwise no thought matters, but blame culture gets us no where. Empathy and kindness for others fundamentally rewires how we construct our humanity
On top of learning to bake and taking on new hobbies, staying at home also forced many of us to cut the noise out of our lives. That includes a lot of work meetings, too-large-to-know-the-people friend gatherings and even materialistic habits that we once deemed so important. Instead, we learned that relationships (romantic and non) keeps our fires going and proximity to friends and family is a new luxury. As borders close and mobility becomes challenged, we learn to live with what we have locally and appreciate those bonds we’ve formed already. The excess of consuming and traveling prior to the pandemic now feels irrelevant, since they now register as escapist mechanisms to conceal what we really value and want out of life. So if 2020 has really honed in on identifying those core values, then I hope 2021 will be a period of balancing old with new perspectives.
Assuming we can go back to a “normal” life where hugging and hanging out within 6 feet are considered safe, then I hope we take our lockdown learnings and move on from our old excess selves. It’s about taking the mindfulness and applying it to the abundance of modern society we so easily abuse. 2020 will definitely leave imprints on all of us and to let it slip without reflecting and learning from it, is a miss none of us can afford.