Hindsight is 20/20

Hindsight is 20/20, especially this year.

With seven months under our belts, though, I think it’s worth a peek back so we can start to move forward.

For instance, I believe the year might have unfolded in a far less challenging way if we could have begun with one global statement of introspection and another of universal resolution.

“I don’t know everything.” and “I’m willing to learn.”

The first requires humility, the second an open mind. I think humans the world over have equal access to both, but we’re busy people. We all have jobs to do, many of us have families to raise and our days pass swiftly.

It’s so much quicker and easier to find fertile ground for our opinions these days without tilling the soil, pulling the weeds, monitoring the elements. So, it seems like that opinion has healthy roots because it looks like every other plant in the field, when it’s really just depleting the soil.

Our lives would be far richer if we allowed ourselves some moments of discomfort in search of the truth.

We don’t know everything, no matter how many likes or shares our Facebook post might get. But, we each know some things and we can learn others. The world is full of good information if we take the time to sift through it. Good, productive conversations, the kind in which each party considers the opinion of the other before responding, benefit everyone.

Sometimes I think we’re all too afraid to disagree, so we blast our opinions without waiting for a response, and then retreat to our comforting echo chambers. We get stuck on semantics because phrases become battle cries, when we wouldn’t have to go to war at all if we would actually listen to what people are saying and care about the circumstances that led them to feel this way.

Conversations won’t stop a murder hornet or a global pandemic. But, the real knowledge they inspire could. I’m not sure when people started to believe that the only valuable conversation ended in agreement, but it’s just not true. We can disagree vehemently with someone, and still gain valuable insight by taking the time to learn why they feel the way they do.

I’d hate to look back at all the challenges we humans faced in 2020 and realize we survived them without learning some critical things about the world and each other.

We all have to get through five more months of this terrible year and, with hurricane season heating up, it doesn’t look like it’s going to get better anytime soon. On the other hand, we also have 158 days to turn this thing around, before a rotten year becomes the first year of a rotten decade.

I think we can do it.

I’m quite certain I don’t know everything, but I’m willing to learn.

I took this picture in the wee hours of Jan. 1, 2020 when the year was still as new and pristine as this snow. I don’t think any of us ever imagined what would follow and the whole world still feels pretty surreal but I have a lot of faith in humans and a lot of hope that we can turn this around.

12 thoughts on “Hindsight is 20/20

  1. HIS will be done.
    I have been thinking about the Sacred History classes I experienced in my childhood. The nuns told us all about the TEN plagues of Egypt, the deluge, God turning Lot’s wife into a statue of salt, etc, etc. so, all of a sudden a global pandemic followed by deadly hurricanes start making sense.

    1. The are actual locust plagues in East Africa too. But I still think we can minimize the impact of these challenges by maximizing our efforts.

  2. I’m quite certain I don’t know everything either, but I’m willing to learn too.

    Thanks for your wise words,

    1. I find so much truth in your words. Part of why we are being divided is we have lost the ability to listen and admit we do not know everything. Just because someone yells something or says it over and over, does not make it true. What has happened to our common sense and the ability to discuss differences without being emotional? Thanks for your perspective and introspective.

      1. Thank you for yours, Neal and for all your years of service to this community.

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