To make 2021 a better year, it falls to us
To make 2021 a better year, it falls to us
18 DECEMBER 2020 8:55 AM

Though it seemed impossible given how slowly this year has gone by, we are nearly done with 2020, but to be truly done with it, it’s up to ourselves to make the difference.

As is customary to the point of being cliché, we’ve nearly reached the end of the year, it feels appropriate to reflect a bit on this year in hopes that will offer some guidance into 2021.

I normally don’t like to speak for others, but I feel pretty safe saying everyone is looking forward to 2020 ending. It feels like it should have ended anywhere from a few months to a few years ago. But while we joke and commiserate on this point, it’s important to remember the way we organize time into years (2008, 2015, 2020, etc.) is just that, a way of organizing time. It helps us better keep track of what happened in the past and how we plan for the future, but in reality, there’s no magic cutoff separating one year from the next. What’s happening now continues into 2021 and so on.

Don’t worry, January 2021 isn’t necessarily the 13th month of 2020. The point I’m trying to make is that while we recognize the changing over of one year into the next based on our calendar, if we want 2021 to be any different, any better, than 2020, that is up to us.

The pandemic has separated us. We’ve found some workarounds, through online meetings, socially distanced meetups and social bubbles, but we are unquestionably farther apart from one another than we used to be. The pandemic has revealed us just how important that human connection is to us.

We miss the friends and family members we can’t see. How many times have you heard someone say they haven’t seen a loved one in person for months? I’m sure the answer is too many. On a smaller scale, the answer is likely the same for taking part in most social activities, be it for work or leisure.

One of my hopes is that from all this is that we collectively reassess what is truly important in our lives. Among all the things we cherish should be one another, which means we must do more to help each other. Helping another person is key to the foundation of hospitality.

The pandemic has revealed to us (and not for the first time) the flaws in our system, how one major event can disrupt so many people’s lives and put them through great economic hardship. So many families are truly struggling, even those who have played by the rules and thought they made all the right decisions.

If it is within your means, please reach out to someone in need and help them. And then, if you can, help another. Look for ways you can help raise back up your friends, family members, neighbors, coworkers, employees, complete strangers, because we are absolutely all in this together. The pandemic has shown how much we need each other.

And when I say help someone, I don’t mean only financially. Of course, if you can monetarily help someone, either directly or through a charitable organization, that is great, but there are other ways we can help each other, too. It’s been a long, difficult year, and with the winter bringing cold weather to many parts of the country, it’s important to recognize how these next few months might be even more challenging for you and the people you know. You can’t necessarily fix these things for them, but by being understanding and compassionate, you can at least make life easier for them.

The end of a year is an imaginary finish line we create for ourselves, and while it can be helpful to use that as a way to let us feel a renewed start, we are still constantly running. If we want things to change, if we want things to be better, that’s up to us, and we can start by how we help one another.

Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below or reach out to me at or @HNN_Bryan.

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