Your time is not up. But I wanted to let you know that I know you are not the villain. You are a container of time. A time begat from all past time.
You are the year that gets tossed the hot potato when the buzzer goes off. Not a malicious creator of chaotic crimes against humanity.
Your container is a cup repeatedly running over. It has sloshed, waterboarded, and drowned us to varying degrees in pandemic proportions. I am not making light of suffering and death. I’m trying to find a way to acknowledge that you, like anyone, may be stretched beyond the breaking point.
Since your purpose is to offer 365 days, not to commiserate about what has happened over most of them, I’d like to acknowledge that keeping humans safe from wildfires and other repercussions of this ailing planet is not your job. Nor can you be blamed for a global pandemic and the morally and ethically bankrupt leaders who have blood on their hands. You aren’t 1619, or any of the subsequent 400 years America has had to acknowledge, apologize and make reparations (they, too, were containers). You didn’t cause the murders of George, Breonna, Ahmaud, or scores of other people of color. You didn’t rig any election or pave the way for Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation.
The hot potato buzzer got thrown at you. It was your turn. Your turn to mark time–regardless of the ways we humans choose (or are forced) to spend it.
So, thank you for any herculean moves you might have made to keep the earth spinning. Or to prevent more tragedy from spilling.
If there exists a multiverse of possibilities, it’s possible that you 2020, the year so many people claim to hate, may be the BEST, the least apocalyptic 2020 we could have hoped for.
I’m completely serious. Here are 20 things I’m thankful for, within the context of your container so far:
- I’ve learned more about social psychology, although much of it depressed me. Humans are much less intelligent, empathic and compassionate when we are in a cult. And there are so many cults.
- I like my husband who is too contrary for any cult.
- Working with people who are committed to peace building through social and economic justice.
- Therapy. It saves lives.
- Art saves lives (and makes us more beautiful).
- Science saves lives (and makes us less stupid).
- BLACK LIVES MATTER. They always have, always will.
- Understanding (reluctantly) that most people NEED someone to idolize… at least to tell them what to do–whether it’s the least offensive candidate or a sociopath who sports a transparent abortion card on the tip of his scepter.
- Most of us will do anything and everything in our power to be right, including ending good, loving relationships. We will also do anything to hold on to privilege, even when that means delusions that we deserve it and “they” don’t.
- Politics and religion have become more than strange bedfellows. After 40 years, they are copulating like rabbits, dispersing like a virus. (This ain’t nearly over, America.)
- Identity is a paradox. We are more than our group identities yet snubbing them ignores who we fully are.
- Most of us are addicted to the banality and manufactured drama of others’ lives.
- Being “connected” has nothing to do with meaning or meaningful connection.
- Idiocracy, the movie, has come to pass.
- Pets save lives.
- Being blocked or rebuffed by family doesn’t hurt as much when you fully accept who you are and admit that self-growth is more important than their acceptance.
- All the sleepless nights full of worry that forced me to face that I am not in control, I will die, and as Red says, I’d best “get busy living”.
- The opportunities to give more, buy less.
- Conserving resources. I’ve wasted too much time, money, and effort (physical, mental, emotional and psychological)–on things that don’t matter.
- Hope. If it is the thing with feathers, I must help keep it safe from extinction. Please, 2020, pass that along to your successor, just in case.