So, it’s almost the end of 2020. I would like to say that although this year has been a horrible year, we have managed to come through it alright. It would be marvellous to say that this year has shown us how we can come together and has demonstrated that we have heretofore unknown reserves of resilience. I would love to say that in the last year I have taken the opportunity of the time afforded to me to look deep within myself, assess my priorities and learn new skills.
Only I can’t.
Yes, the media has been full of uplifting stories and panegyrics for the ‘heroes of the hour’. We have been bombarded with messages of hope and told that because we are exceptional, we will come through this year and be better for it at the end. (I’ve no idea what’s been happening on social media. I don’t swim in that pool.) But it all rings hollow to me.
For most of us, the reality of the last year has been quite different. We have been put on furlough, forced to work from home or faced redundancy. We have seen our horizons shrink to the local park and a few square inches of screen. If anybody has been ‘lucky’ enough to have been classed as an essential worker, then they have had to face the risk of infection with no extra reward. We have all had to endure lockdowns and isolations. We all face an uncertain future.
In the meantime, our ‘lords and masters’ have acted according to their stripe. Some have faced the crisis with courage and empathy. Others have denied events until they were directly affected – and even then not necessarily acknowledging the seriousness of the situation. Politicians have declared themselves to represent the common interest, but have decried anybody who dares gainsay them as ‘enemies of the people’ and the ‘liberal elite’.
I’m sorry. I really wanted to write something that was happier and more optimistic, but to do so would have been hypocritical of me. I do not feel that way, and I know that many others do not either. If we do not voice our true feelings, then nothing will ever change. Ultimately, the solution to this lies within ourselves. We have to show compassion for others. We have to look after the vulnerable. We have to support those who have fallen. That is what a society is for. True change comes from the bottom, not from the top.
So, please, if you are reading this, take care of yourselves and those you love. Take whatever joy you can, when you can. And remember, it is perfectly alright to feel bad when the world around you has gone to crap.
Happy New Year. I hope.
OMP Admin Note: John Nedwill is a writer, OMP Network member, and a regular #OneMillionProject Blogger. His work can be found on Wattpad.com and in the One Million Project’s Short Story Anthologies published in February 2018.
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