I’ll make this short and sweet. Or short, at least.
As I write this, there are six hours and 12 minutes left in the year 2020. Am I ready to bid this year adieu? Sure. Tomorrow marks the beginning of 2021. The beginning of something new. And yeah, I dig the symbolism and all that. But let’s be real. It’s technically another day.
It’s not as if January 1st is going to be some sort of magical elixir that will enlighten the far-right naysayers and far-left conspiracy theorist anti-vaccers of their ignorance or their unwillingness to see the harm they’re causing.
If I sound irritated with these two factions, you haven’t misinterpreted. But my irritation isn’t simply my inability to comprehend them. It’s because I understand them all too well. Both of them.
As much as I don’t want to admit it, at different points in my life, I have pitched my tent in each of these camps. I grew up in a conservative household where the name Reagan was like royalty. I was even ready to vote for Bush (senior) in the 1988 election, though I was so complacent I didn’t even bother voting.
Four years at a fairly liberal college shifted my views. So while at 18 I was content to call myself a Republican, by the age of 26, I was a card-carrying independent who voted for Ralph Nader, got on board with the paint-throwing members of PETA, and was an avowed anti-vaccination advocate.
So I understand where both of these groups reside. Because when I subscribed to these extreme beliefs, I was working predominantly from fear, lack, and limitation. And it was a miserable place to be. By my mid-30s, I’d had enough. I began doing the self-work required to seek more balance in my life. Self-exploration and -investigation is no walk in the park. A lot of the time, it sucks. But it’s a journey worth taking.
It seems that 2020 really ramped up, exposed, then preyed upon those dictated by fear. It certainly got the best of me. So my hope for 2021 is that folks start to recognize how much fear dictates their own lives, do the hard work involved in finding balance, and just be freakin’ nice to each other.
We’ve got a lot of work to do.