There are undoubtedly many things from 2020 to leave behind, but I would gladly take certain things with me for the next few decades. Here are a few of them.
- Take time to slow down and do some introspection.
Before the pandemic, it seems to me that everything was going so fast and that we spent our time chasing time. The isolation gave us room to catch our breath.
- Spending a lot of time with our families.
- Being thankful for the simple things.
Basically, you don't need much to be alive.
Recognising what is essential and what is not is a great gift for life!
- Socialize outdoors regardless of the weather
Go outside rain or shine to get some fresh air is always a healthy habit.
- The importance of staying connected, but also of disconnecting.
The internet is very useful and has served us well in keeping in touch, but can also exacerbate misinformation and false fears. It is equally important to disconnect. During the months of July and August I was convalescing from a concussion and cut off from all screens. This brought me peace and mental rest.
- Solidarity and community building.
The outrage at racism and police brutality towards Afro-descendants and indigenous people brought about a global awareness. It is a good thing that more and more non-white people are represented in the media and all spheres of society. This is only the beginning and there is still a long way to go, but the road is set and there is no turning back. White people need to recognise their fragility and unconscious racism if we are to make progress. Change will take time, but we must not give up. The fight continues even if the media talk less about it.
- Our interdependence and the importance of essential health and food services.
Unfortunately, many people who have continued to work and take risks are among the less valued groups in our system. Why are people who work on farms paid so little and live in unsanitary conditions? We need to change our value system which does not reflect the real importance of certain trades. The pandemic has highlighted many of the invisible problems that can no longer be ignored and these are good things.
This is not an exhaustive list. What good things have you gained over the past year? Share them!
When I tell you all shall be well, I don't mean that life won't bring you tragedy. Life will be life. I only mean you will be well in spite of it. All shall be well, no matter what.
Sue Monk Kidd in The Book of Longings