The Shining Hero of 2020
I get that it is really tough to find the good when all we hear is bad news. All of the bad news has left most of us deeply weary and wishing with our last bit of hope 2021 promises something better. Maybe the problem is we lacked a hero this year and that’s why the bad news just seemed so heavy and constant against our backs? Where are those super-human strong people who run head into a storm to be the heros, savers and history makers anyway?
As I reflect on this year and begin thinking of what’s next it is the word mess that comes to my mind. I struggle with providing a better word that is more eloquent and beautiful but just kept coming back to the word mess. We have all just made a big mess of our world and no where is that more apparent than in 2020. There are rampant lies for profit and power, there are racial divides, pollution, violence, and a virus. A virus that has gripped hold of us we seemed to have lost all sense of common and practical. It is very challenging to know what is the right answer, who to trust and where to feel safe. No one’s lives is left untouched by the self imposed events of this year. Yes you could say I’m putting the virus in that category too because a large part of me believes it too was man-made though I lack any trustworthy source to vet that opinion.
Yet while this year has just been a mess there have been beautiful moments. People still got married this year, new babies were born, families had more time together and held each other close. We fed and helped each other and checked in to make sure everyone was well and safe. We adopted pets and children and gave them our best love. We endured a lot but I also deeply believe many of us polished off what really matters in life. We said I love you with deeper meaning and sincerity. We showed kindness and paid it forward where we could. Against the dark skies of violence, a virus and many other bad things the good persisted and even helped the sun shine some days. We chose to not see color, race, cultural differences and just be people helping each other, being kind and being human.
It is there in the simplest acts of kindness that we still see the shining heroic moments of 2020. These are not the grand actions that quickly and swiftly shift what’s occurring but rather the quiet, gentle touches and friendship of healing. It makes my heart hurt that this may not be enough and some seem unreachable to experience a calming that allows us all to heal as a people. There is is so much pain in our world right now that it seems insurmountable to consider just being a good human doing their best to provide for their family and be nice to others is enough and yet it is the example we need most it seems.
For me the beauty of this year has been the times seeing how people connect and stay close. While our country raged in anger sometimes justified and sometimes not, we were still finding ways to connect with each other. Families stand at windows of nursing homes to see loved ones, we are uniting in church services over video and checking on neighbors. Our basic human need for love and kindness was still fulfilled in as many ways as possible this year despite conditions that threatened us. We found a way to make it happen to love on our people and share kindness. If that is not enough to awaken our society to power of love as the ultimate shining hero nothing else will. Sometimes though we have to choose to see the good over the bad and realize we are still imperfect humans just doing our best.
We have to choose to put down our anger and rage to see the beauty and possibilities. We have to stop destroying our story, history, culture, communities, and each other to figure out how to move forward. We have to want to make it better and want to do it in a way that helps others not just ourselves. All of these things were possible in 2020 and at times they seemed like they were hard to fi