Home Strictly Personal An unusual transition

An unusual transition

by Klaus

2020 is coming to an end. 2021 is awaiting us. Many of us are calling 2020 the worst year ever, and just want it to be over. I think it’s worth to differentiate a little bit.

On the most basic level we might consider ourselves fortunate to still be alive when so many other are gone.

Our last year was full of challenges, the biggest one being a pandemic that we were all utterly unprepared for. The Coronavirus and Covid-19 hit us hard. We were slow to react and did not have the necessary protocols in place.

This led to 2020 being a year full of loss & hardship. People often died died in unspeakable conditions. Others lost their livelihoods and many of us are saddled with a pile of debt and empty pantries.

Our “me-first” societies are struggling to accept limitations to individual freedoms. Our diverse (mis)information landscape offered many different perspectives that made it impossible to find the necessary support for effectively battling the pandemic vs. just coping with it.

This was not the only story we talked about this year. The change in our lifestyles and our limited mobility lead to cleaner air in many metro areas for part of the year. We continued our climate change debate and many of us agree that it is a much bigger problem than Covid. 

On an individual level we had our lives slowed down. Our gatherings, often coupled with traveling mostly disappeared. Shopping aka consuming as an activity and a way to spend time also disappeared or was cut back significantly. 

For 2021 I am very cautiously mildly optimistic. I believe that 2021 will be equally challenging for us. Covid will stick around. Our vaccination efforts will take time to unfold. There will be tensions between people being vaccinated vs. people still waiting in line. Should there be different rules aka privileges for people that are protected? That’s a very controversial debate we’ll have to have. Yet there is light at the end of the tunnel with multiple vaccines being rolled out.

Here in the US we just had a very challenging election season. We have a new administration coming in. Many people will be disappointed about their slow progress and a possible disconnect between our leaders’ words and what they see in their real lives. There will be a lot of damage control and rebuilding to be done. It will take time. It will also be very challenging to find the resources to put programs in place that would prepare us for the future (poverty reduction, homeless protection, infrastructure, green deal, etc.). 

We also have dozens of millions of Americans that question the legitimacy of this new government altogether. Overcoming this divide and the lack of trust in our election process will require a lot of work. 

Many people lost their savings and went into debt to make it through this year. These numbers will not magically vanish in 2021. Anyone that has ever been in debt knows how hard it is to get out of the hole. 

We also committed to significant reductions in our climate warming emissions in 2025 and 2030. Meeting these goals will require massive changes for all of us. Are we ready for these inconvenient truths? Failing to meet the set goals will inevitable trigger an avalanche of chain reactions that will greatly burden future generations. 

Last but not least we have weakened our international institutions and have many conflict zones around the world. We have done little on a collective level to push back the efforts of all the malicious agitators greeting us from the headlines of our newspapers. 

Maybe you can understand why I’m so cautious to just say 2020 is over, let’s move on. The legacy of 2020 and the years prior will continue to burden us going forward.

Yet, it is not all bad if we act accordingly .

What we can do in 2021 is to step in with full consciousness about what we can control in our lives and what not. 

  • How much time do we want to spend in online conversations that don’t solve any actual problems and deepen our dislike for each other?
  • Are there any positives from 2020 that we want to carry over into the future?
  • What is it that we really want or need in our lives? What can we let go of?
  • How much do we want to lament about what needs to be done vs. taking tiny steps ourselves?
  • Can we lead by example once physical human interaction is less inhibited again?
  • Can we make changes towards a more sustainable lifestyle?
  • What’s our balance between consuming and creating?

What I am basically saying is this: we have a lot of work ahead of us. Let’s all walk around with open eyes and harts and try to be part pf the solutions, not adding to the piles of problems we are facing.

Of course I wish all of you well. May you find ways to contribute to 2021 being a success story.

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