I don’t quite believe in astrology, numerology or anything of this kind. I try to look more rationally at life – as cause and action. Simple as that. You take a certain path and it leads you somewhere. What pushes you towards a decision is a different topic. Yet, no matter if caused by divine intervention or not, our decisions bring us places. The outcome, we label ourselves – good or bad.
I often see life cyclically – a “bad” year follows a “good” one and so on. There must be some balance in the universe, that’s how I explain it to myself.
Yet, with its explosive negative energy, 2020 is just out of the ordinary in all charts. We have officially labeled it “the worst year”.
No matter the label, 2020 really is different. It universally challenged our understanding of the world on many levels. This leads me to the main point – good and bad. Is 2020 really the worst?
How do we define good and bad?
For the sake of its existence, our society has come to a certain structure of operation. Differentiation is one of the key ways to define things, label them and make a decision accordingly. Even in simple biology terms – this is our decision-making strategy. Apple – good. Poisonous mushroom – bad! So, we choose our foods well and we don’t die.
The same goes for society – familiar is good, unfamiliar is bad. The unfamiliar can harm us. It can make us uncomfortable or be dangerous for us. We don’t go talk to the stranger following us in an alley. And we have a good reason not to!
However, in recent years when the danger triggering our fight-or-flight concerns is not always life-or-death one, things started changing.
Back to the previous example – approaching a stranger (not the one in the dark alley!) makes us anxious. It triggers fears for our safety. Momma said “Don’t talk to strangers!”, didn’t she?
Yet, many times our anxiety does not concern our physical being. It concerns our social fears – being rejected, laughed at, ignored. Nonetheless, we can all agree that meeting new people can be widely beneficial for us.
2020 did exactly this – it challenged our understanding of the world.
Conclusion – good and bad are just concepts. Two different words we use to label and simplify the world in order to understand it. One problem – the world is anything but simple.
What does this have to do with 2020?
2020 was the definition of what we deem “bad” for the most of the world. It made us face a variety of issues – environmental, economical, safety… but also our understanding. 2020 challenged some basic views we have for the world around us.
Before, our homes were the definition of safety. A place of comfort, where we relax after a long day in “the wild”. We did not see it as a prison, did we?
Once we switch the narrative, good turns into bad. It is not so comfortable when we don’t hold the choice of being there.
Our ideas of friendship, romantic relationships, family, spending the holidays, socializing, shopping, work… All has gone through a major shift. A shift that cannot be undone.
Those new ways made us uncomfortable. This is bad… or is it?
It surely did not feel good to experience it, yes. But it did teach us so many lessons. We learned how to be more self-sufficient, to cherish our loved ones and our meetings with them. It thought us to step into other people’s shoes, to see the world from their eyes. We started seeking nature like never before. It made us understand the importance of our homes for more than a place to spend the night. We had to become more creative, adaptable, caring. Can we label this as bad?
Nature has no principles. She makes no distinction between good and evil.
But WE do.
2021 is hours away. And we are tired, so tired. But also hopeful for better days.
Looking back, instead of labelling 2020 as “the worst”, let’s think about the lessons we’ve learned. Otherwise, what was the point of all the sacrifices?
I choose to see it in grey.
Dear 2020, thank you for teaching us. 2021, please let us practice all we learned.
a little smoothie girl in a big, big blender world.