We are all anxious to leave 2020 in our rearview mirror. We are tired of being six feet or more apart. We wish we could be together again with family and friends. We want to go to school, work, sporting events, and concerts. We are itching to travel the world. We long to celebrate birthdays, weddings, and graduations in large groups. We need hugs. Community is what we desire. How fast can we speed away from the year that has been filled with distance, devastation, and death?
Hold on! Should we quickly leave 2020 in our dust and erase the memories of this wretched year? Should we be so hasty to forget what we have been through?
After 9/11, we often said “let’s not forget”. After that tragic day, the whole country came together. Flags were flown everywhere. Patriotism was palpable. We wept together. We prayed together. It was a beautiful time after that horrific day. But slowly, all of that faded away. The feeling of community and national pride quietly disintegrated.
After the initial panic at the onset of Covid-19 (and hoarding of toilet paper), many positive things started happening around us. We began to notice and applaud the essential workers. Hats off to teachers, healthcare workers and grocery clerks! We shared good news in the world on the news and in social media. We extended kindness more than usual. We looked after our neighbors. Generosity was abundant. There were many stories that warmed my heart and brought a tear to my eye.
We learned what was truly important. We soon realized how necessary touch, company, and gatherings are to our mental well being. We missed contact with others. We made due with phones, FaceTime, and Zoom because that is what we had (so grateful for this!), but realized that having others in our physical presence was a paramount connection that technology simply could not substitute.
I pray that once Covid-19 is a distant memory, we don’t soon forget what we walked through. Let’s not take community and togetherness for granted. We should continue to bring good to the world and those stories should be highlighted for all to see. We need to keep looking out for others and continue offering kindness and generosity. As Maya Angelou said, “When you know better, you do better.” Let’s not forget what we have learned and continue to do better as we leave 2020 in our rearview mirror.