It has been a year. We have been shut-in, masked up and fatigued. We have fought over toilet paper, protested our freedom from the notion of someone controlling our bodies by wearing a mask, and turned our heads in lightning speed swiveling motion when we heard a sneeze or a cough.
I do not know about you, but I am clearly ready to move beyond this pandemic. Yet yesterday I sat down and took stock of the things I learned over this past year. Why, you might ask, would you want to relive one of the most agonizing years on record?
Quite honestly, I just have no desire to repeat it. And when we refuse to look back at what our humanity has caused...we are destined to repeat it.
When this pandemic started, like many of you I figured this would be a few weeks and I was excited to work from home. A month in, I was rearranging furniture, and out shopping for the perfect home desk and home office essentials.
Three months in and I was working on breakfast, lunch and dinner menus and practicing my culinary skills (I had even locked in the food network channel). My visits to the grocery store had me stocking up on all the fresh fruits and vegetables as I prepared, I quipped, "for a long winters nap."
That first three months both my work life and personal life were at full throttle. With a mother who lives more than fourteen hundred miles away, I tried navigating her understanding of this new world order around her. Trying to keep her safe and still connected to the world. She had no iPad or iPhone, and it was a must to get her technology, to keep connected to her family.
Six months in and I started rearranging furniture again. And I found myself connected to my computer for more hours than I cared to admit. I begin doubting if this would ever end in my lifetime.
Here we are today...all of us, celebrating a year since the nation, nope the world, went on global lockdown. And, I had to ask myself what changed. What changed in us or for us.
I noticed three things that changed.
1. The lockdown made us pay attention unlike any time in history. Because we were all in front of our devices, we had front row seats to the murder of George Floyd. No matter where you were in the world...you were struck at how easy it was for one human being to murder another. Before the pandemic, for most of us our only front row seat to murder was through war. And war can be explained. This could not be explained. The lock down made us pay attention unlike any time in history.
2. The pandemic made us all acutely aware of the importance of both science and faith. While we were arguing about trusting the science...we also saw religion, especially Christianity, or the lack thereof, on full display.
3. The pandemic also made us recognize our differences and our similarities. Amid Black Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, and Blue Lives Matter we found the voices of what mattered most. Inclusion, Diversity and Equity. These three little words that have refocused our humanity and have become buzz words.
I am excited about what the next year can bring us. We can choose to ignore the past as we move into the future, or we can look back and fix what bought us to this moment in time in the first place.
I am ready to roll up my sleeves and prepare for the year ahead. I am personally terrified abut repeating this past year. And quite frankly, I cannot move one more piece of furniture.