2020 is almost over but we are not doing any self-scrutiny to make 2021 less tumultuous and more pleasing to live through. Usually, we introspect at the end of the year, summarize and draw conclusions. This past year has been so uncanny, unpredictable, and inexplicable that we seem to have given up on the whole idea of making sense of it. So what do we do? We sit in the corner and wait. But what are we waiting for? If we don’t do anything, 2021 will be worse than 2020, there is no doubt about it.
It’s good that we already recognize that we aren’t owners of our own future. However, that does not mean that we have no obligations for the present. And if we improve the present, there is no doubt that our future will also be better. Right now, we are living in a splintered society that reeks of hatred and distrust. If we work on that, will our future improve? Right now, alienation among us, depression, and social isolation are growing wherever we look. If we do something about it now, will it not make 2021 better?
Instead of dreading the future, we must look at the present and see where we can work to make things better. And the best and most effective place to work is among ourselves, in our families and communities, in our cities, states, and all over the country. The work we need to do is acknowledge the hatred that’s erupted among us and, despite its undeniable presence, acknowledge that we are dependent on each other. Trying to separate Republicans from Democrats is harder than separating the US from China; it will not work. The only option is to learn to live together, just as it’s been for generations.
And what is true of politics, is true of everything else. Wherever hatred and suspicion are increasing, if 2020 has taught us anything, it is that hatred achieves nothing. It is time we tried cooperation. It is time we matured and realized that whatever happens, we have to live together, work together, and grow together. We have to build our communities as one society. And clearly, a society that’s founded on deep hatred is not one where people want to live and raise their children.
[Reuters: People wait in a line to undergo coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test at a coronavirus testing site in Seoul]