Opinion: There’s no denying that fall is upon us in the four states area. We are seeing colder days, Halloween has passed, trees are changing colors, and leaves are gently floating down to the ground. Fall seems to mark the end of each year as the leaves start dancing through the air outside my office window, a reminder that the end of the year is almost here.
From this point forward we will celebrate holidays, eat, shop, and for many of us, we will try to pretend that 2020 has never happened. Some of us have lost loved ones, friends, and co-workers this year. We have watched as politicians argue, debate, and try to find some happy balance between shutting society down and opening it up. We have debated masks, political agendas, and even argued over how real or unreal this pandemic is or is not.
2020 was a unique year to say the least. We started off with rumors of war quickly escalating to talk of another world war. We watched as Congressional leaders tried to impeach a President and a pandemic raced around the globe. Many of us shut ourselves away at home while “essential” workers carried on the day-to-day task of keeping society moving. We faced riots, demonstrations, and chaos in some of the cities around the world. We watched as a global economy suffered the effects of the “Stay at home” cry, and we marveled to some extent as pollution levels dropped across the states, perhaps a cry of relief from mother nature as our pollution output slowed. Finally, many of us watched as a loved one, friend, or stranger struggled for air, gasping as a ventilator tried desperately to keep the life-giving oxygen flowing. In some cases, with no rhyme or reason, the COVID patient survived or barely showed symptoms. In other cases, as our hearts were torn and ripped from us, we watched as COVID destroyed life. 2020 has been unique is perhaps an understatement.
As we close out 2020, political disarray is still the line for mainstream media, social media is still rolling with rumors, lies, truths, and perhaps half-truths at times. We seem to be divided, first as a world and second as a nation. At a time when COVID should have forced us to come together, join one another, and fight against the common enemy of a disease…many of us chose to focus on our masks, our rights, our feelings. Was it self-centered? I really don’t know. History will have to look back and judge how we handled the pandemic. All I do know is that 2020 will come to an end and 2021 will roll in on January 1. Maybe in these last days of the year, we should all take time to reflect, maybe reconnect with a political enemy or simply talk to our neighbors. If just a few people will reach out in our communities with a smile, a positive word, maybe a helping hand we can all be reminded that we are bigger than 2020. We will have 2021 and that is something in itself to be thankful for as we move onward.
So watch the leaves fall, enjoy the colors, and look into your own heart. Is there a way you can help make 2021 better? Maybe, in the end, it’s all a matter of how we approach each day, each person, and each situation we come across. Maybe it does boil down to you, and me, deciding it’s going to be better, and then we can all work together to make it so much brighter each day.