By: Cody J. Elms
What can we learn from this year?
I feel as if the lessons are endless.
When we lost a legend both on and off the court we were shocked, heartbroken, and in disbelief. When events unfolded that brought to light the racial divide that has been boiling below the surface of denial and ignorance we were ashamed, appalled, and awoken. When a virus shut the world down, some of us were stunned to the point of inward reflection and silence while others felt pushed to the point of rage. What we can learn from this pinnacle year in history will be uncovered and discussed for decades to come.
We are all unique and with that comes different priorities. In normal years these differences never come fully to light. In most instances, my priorities and yours rarely impact the course of our individual lives. However this year was far from normal and therefore certain aspects of how we live our lives and what we value were brought out of the darkness. What lies within the shadows of our day to day lives is often times the precise thing that may alter history.
Every person's experience with the truth affects them in varying ways. This year has reorganized our reality. It forced us to realize that even those we are closest to may not view us in the same light. It caused us to accept that our morals, values, priorities, and loyalties may not be respected by our peers, friends, and family. There has been an overwhelming shift in whom we trust, whom we have faith in, and whom we believe will be there in our final days. And let's not make any mistake about it, this year brought upon many individuals final days in some of the most unexpected ways.
We can't go back and alter history but we can learn from it. We found out within a 365 day period just where people's loyalty lied. One of the most unspoken yet important facets of our lives is who is loyal. Not to us as a person but to what we believe in. To what accumulates into who we are. Throughout the last 12 months we have seen backs turned, communication severed, loved ones vanished, and lines drawn. Politics have split up families. A virus has made photos of year's past remnants of what once was. The literal personal value of life itself has resulted in who is in yours and who is not.
For 2021 I'm not sure there is a lot more we need to take in. 2020 was an awakening of our consciousness. Where became educated on the very make-up of humanity. This year we need to apply this new found knowledge to how we plan for our futures. Some of that may involve accepting and moving on, while some may require mending the fractured and broken pieces of this past year. None of us are made to be set in our ways. We can all budge a little to ensure that the new decade begins far better than the previous one ended. Change is frightening when you face it alone. 2020 has caused us to feel more isolated than ever before. 2021 does not have to be a year of isolation and separation. Rather it should be a year of integration and unification. A year of recognizing who is loyal and who is not.
As I said earlier, 2020 will be studied for decades. So like many other historical times of struggle, darkness, and division, let the moments that follow be of strength, enlightenment, and solidarity.
May the new year not bring upon a new you, but instead a better you and a better us. A year where we find confidence in where our loyalties lie and comfort in where others do as well.