The year 2020 was undoubtedly a lesson in humility for humans. Once again, a microscopic organism overpowered a species that had labelled itself as the most intelligent creature on the planet. Humans identified a threat, laid out basic guidelines to combat the spread of the organism, and expected the population to follow through with them. Unfortunately, the organism very quickly brought the entire world to a standstill through the exploitation of a lack of awareness, discipline and planning.
It was also a year in which the concept of love redefined itself. The correlation between physical distance and love became clearer than it previously was. Maintaining a physical distance, especially from those who were more vulnerable or frail, was the 2020 version of a nice big hug. Wearing your face covering meant that a loving smile was experienced through the eyes instead of the mouth. Elbows replaced the role of the hands during greetings and introductions. A secondary world was established in a virtual dimension where we plugged ourselves in to attend events and gatherings and unplugged ourselves once the fun was over.
The year 2020 gave birth to many widely used phrases. “I think you’re on mute” is probably at the top of the list, for obvious reasons. But, due to the restricted lifestyles the majority of us were asked to live, I’d say the phrase that comes in as a close second is “It’s just another day”.
Time took on a whole different personality during 2020. When you look back, you’ll realise the year has actually flown by, which is in total contrast to how most days felt slow and exactly the same as the day before. At some points it felt entirely possible to live and experience tomorrow in your mind before it had even arrived. The days had lost their substance, and subsequently, people questioned their purpose and identity.
Gradually, we began to learn to define the days and regain a sense of purpose and identity. We took joy in noticing the small things and learned to appreciate many parts of our surroundings that we had glanced over regularly. We had learnt far more than we ever knew about people who are always in our lives, but also those we had met for the first time through the rise of the virtual dimension. We tried new things and discovered talents we never knew we had, but also went back in to the past to pick up passions that were long forgotten.
We enhanced our compassion to our fellow neighbour and the passer-by, knowing that the suffering was real and that it was shared by many. We praised and found heightened levels of respect for key individuals in society, who like warriors in battle, sacrificed their lives for the benefit of humanity. We collectively developed a level of patience and discipline that helped, to some degree, suppress the power of the organism.
Today is not just another day. Today is the first day of applying the wisdom born from the experience of 2020. Today is the day we commit to loving each other stronger than ever before under the new, temporary, definition of love. Today is the day that we commit to exuding gratitude for the small stuff, because it’s helped get us through the hard stuff. Today is the day that we commit to appreciating people in our lives, both old and new, for their continued presence. Today is the day that we take the good that we discovered about ourselves and use it to give tomorrow the momentum to be different, not the same. Today is the day that we commit to remaining compassionate, disciplined, patient and respectful towards our fellow neighbour, passer-by and warrior in battle.
It’s with these commitments that we’ll ensure that 2021 is a year of hope. A hope that we’ll be able to love and live like we did before. And when that hope materialises, and there’s no doubt that it will, we will meet it like the light does a butterfly after it emerges from its cocoon.
You see, like the above quote says, we think we have time. Many people thought they had time in 2020, until it was robbed from them for eternity. Today is not just another day.