Things I’ve Learned in 2020
The phrase “unprecedented times” comes to mind and is used exhaustively when attempting to describe the last 10 months of 2020, and for good reason! The world has suffered life-changing health, historical, racial, political and social pain. As it relates to the coronavirus, most agree that the world has never experienced a medical/mental health crisis of such epic proportions…or have we?
The world changed before our very eyes. We went from movie theaters to Netflix, grocery shopping to meal delivery, boardroom meetings to zoom calls, doctors’ offices to telemedicine and everything in between. What I learned was that nothing stays the same or needs our approval to change. During this time, what I learned about people, patience, and my purpose was pivotal to planning 2021.
What I Learned About People
What I learned about people is that the power of the human spirit is unmatched, but so is its wrath. Depending on your lens, the pandemic served as a catalyst for both confusion and conversation. After hundreds of thousands of reported deaths, and with respect to those who celebrated the holidays with an empty seat at the table, there are still conversations around whether or not this life-threatening condition truly exists. The argument around wearing verses not wearing masks has been a point of contention to many as well as a measurement of relative commitment to varied viewpoints.
On the other hand, this pandemic taught us how to incubate with family, innovate with technology and interact with essential/front-line workers like never before. From looking out for each other to reinventing ourselves, this crisis forced us to do the same things differently and sometime even better. It truly did create new attitudes and opportunities to intersect and integrate our lens through our lived experiences.
What I Learned About Patience
What I learned about the expression “patience is a virtue” is that it’s also a journey. It was never my greatest gift, until I became a parent. This lived experience has created in me the empathy, compassion and intuition to know when to wait for the world to heal me, family and others.
Intentional inclusion was a key benefit as a parent, student, advocate and citizen. It steadied me to listen to those we love and live without interruption (intentionally). I learned to bend to the needs of others by meeting them where they are and being intentionally inclusive. I learned to recognize invisible illnesses that cause emotional, mental, spiritual and professional loss that deserved equal attention. How someone can be in so much pain and not bleed reshaped my thinking. I came to understand where we fail and have fault. I learned that growth and comfort never coexist.
What I Learned About Purpose
What I learned about purpose is that my personal purpose is directly aligned with my faith. I was reminded that my identity is not my obstacle but my superpower. As such, my struggles and prayers in 2020 help to shape me for my purpose of service. Especially our personal experience of COVID, quarantine and self-isolation.
Christmas 2020 forced us to celebrate it for its true purpose, the New Year as a new next and humanity as our most important asset. It taught me to encourage my children and others to question our own fundamental values and beliefs to more clearly see the purposefulness of others. As we closed out 2020 on the spinning rock called earth, making time to stop, regroup and listen to build new strategies and move forward in 2020 is guaranteed to grow security, stability and success to 2021. Looking forward to regrouping, restarting and rebooting what’s to come.