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.