Happy New…whatever

‘Tis the season for talk about hopes for the new year. We’ve spent the past 12 months bitching about how terrible 2020 was, and now that we discern enough time has gone by, everything is supposed to be all better now. I’ve never quite understood the concept, and after this year, I find it rather annoying. 2020 has been turned into a verb, a noun, and adjective, an adverb. It’s been anthropomorphized into an evil menacing personality. Whenever something unfortunate happens, people have taken to chalking it up to the evils of 2020. It’s bullshit.

The fact is, the 12 months that constituted 2020 had a lot of bad things occur in them for a lot of people. That wasn’t due to a cursed year. That was due to people making unfortunate decisions, and people failing to have empathy for one another. 2020 hasn’t been an evil, crappy year. We’ve been evil, crappy people, and for much longer than the past 12 months.

Shrugging and citing 2020 has become the go-to for how people deal with hearing of loss or someone else’s pain. We’ve become so numb and unsympathetic that rather than attempt to feel that loss with others, we quickly pull down a curtain of blaming the year so that we don’t have to face the pain head on. That isn’t right. We’ve become so irrational about it that when people do horrible things, once more do give credit to the evil times we live in. No, the year had nothing to do with people rioting. Those people being assholes had everything to do with it.

The bad things that have happened in the past 12 months have mostly come down to a lack of empathy for others, and a lack of respect for everyone who isn’t us or supportive of our narrative. The president is evil? Well half the country elected him. The opposing party is evil? Well, half the country routinely elects them. Riots? No respect for the private property or safety of others. Police use of violence? Again, no respect or empathy for subjects of officers and escalation of hostilities. Coronavirus amok? No one, on any side of how political and stupid this has become, has respected or shown real care about anyone.

If we want things to generally improve over the next 12 months, then it would be advisable that instead of whining about it being an annus horribilis, that we drop this narrative entirely and first drop the entitlement. We’re each living our own narrative, but our narrative is an internal dialog. It is not objective truth. The vast, vast majority of us are not special. We do not know or possess anything particularly remarkable from anyone else. We are each just trying to survive and do the best that we can do. We need to be patient. We need to be kind. We need to think about the objective facts of a situation and use reason, not emotion, to rule our hand in them. We need to get away from our devices and go be quiet. Think about what someone else says instead of trying to figure out what you will say in response.

Good tidings to you and yours. Go make those good tidings a reality.

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