After The Storm Of ’20, A Rainbow Ahead

Whew! We made it. 2020 is done and we have a new start, a new chance, simply called 2021. May it be one we’ll look back on as … “forgettable.” Seriously. When you think about it, the one thing that is undeniable about ’20 is that it was… “memorable”.

There’s a lot to say about 2020 and what may lie ahead. I have just a few thoughts on the topic. Off the top of my head, I’d say that yes, 2020 was a pretty terrible year… but it could end up being a useful, if not positive, one if we can learn from it down the road. Enough things have gone wrong in the past year to perhaps act as a global GPS for society at large, pointing the safe path ahead. And while almost everyone of us has had problems and losses in 2020, it would be remiss not to consider them and try to make some sense out of them. Find the hidden meaning; reassess.

Here in North America, the news has been pretty much dominated by two things for the past ten months – the pandemic and American politics, in particular the presidential election. Both should teach us a few things.

The pandemic has shown us that we’re part of a big, worldwide community for instance. It’s a message we were fortunate to have escaped earlier in the century when diseases like SARS, MERS and Ebola raged elsewhere. They largely stayed overseas, out of sight, out of mind. Covid has shown all too clearly that problems in China and in the Third World can quickly be our problems. Throw in a season with an unprecedented 30 hurricanes or tropical storms in the Atlantic and record-burning fires in the U.S. West and Australia and we should be reminded that as smart as our species is, we’re still at the mercy of God or Mother Nature, or whatever name you’d like to give to forces far beyond our control. So maybe we should start trying to live in better harmony with this little planet we call home.

It tells me that we need to take a moment and reconsider the importance of some things we took for granted before. If or when this virus is wrestled under control, imagine how wonderful it will be to hug a friend you hadn’t seen for months that you bump into in a store – while not having to wear a mask no less! A good time to consider how important those close to you are… and frankly, perhaps jettison some that clogged up your life before. Months or not seeing people can tell your heart if they are needing of more of future you, or less. I know for me, I will be glad to be able to pop into a store I drive by on a whim without worrying about if the risk is worth it, without putting on a mask and plastic gloves… but I’ll also probably do so a lot less thanI once did. Hey, if I went nine months without needing to go in there, I probably don’t need to go nine months from now just because i have a few minutes to spare.

When it comes to the politics, I don’t envy Joe Biden. He has his work cut out with the economy still tanked due to the virus and the nation practically divided in half. Forget Trump’s Mexican wall, he has managed to pop the last few bricks onto a virtual wall dividing the populace in half that had been forged over the past decade. Republican vs Democrat. Black vs White. Urban vs rural. Cable vs Netflix… these days it seems like no detail is too small to make people hate one another.

I don’t pretend to have all the answers. I do hope though that he, and the government, will look to ways to make future elections more fool-proof and avoid the kind of stupidity we’ve seen this time around. I’m an environmentalist, but I still have to say that there is something to be said for paper ballots, with a circle to be inked in beside the name of the candidate of your choice, dropped into a locked box, opened and counted with representatives of both parties right there to over-see. Hard for foreign operatives to fiddle with that. There’s zero evidence any of the recent elections were tampered with across the U.S., but with electronic balloting there is potential for it to happen. Why not eliminate the chance?

And rather than divide people more, I hope we’ll see some sort of unification happening in the coming year. Years. That will be a tough job. I dare say an impossible one to do completely, but there is hope the chasms can be lessened, wounds healed. While I don’t know precisely how to do that, I think it wouldn’t hurt to focus on the things most of us agree on still … in a land of 310 million people, many of them ill-informed and prejudiced, there may be no one thing everyone will agree on. But for starters I think most will agree in:

the American Dream. If you work hard and are honest, you should make a living wage, and have a chance to move ahead, make a better life.

Education for our kids. Certainly there are different definitions of what a good education is, or how to deliver it, but most of us know that our kids need as good an education to get them on their way in life as we can give them.

a Liveable Environment. We’re tired of masks, we generally agree we want fresh air to breathe without needing to wear a mask to go outside; we want clean water to drink. Similarly we want a safe neighborhood. Almost all of us want to feel safe stepping outside their door or going to work, to school.

Equal Opportunity. Quotas and the like are divisive, but most would agree that if you have the talent and are the best candidate, you should have the job, or the spot in the classroom or the show on TV.

Democracy itself. Lord knows, we have different interpretations of how it’s been functioning of late, but most all of us still believe in people picking the government that will rule them and steer our lives and our nation, which in turn should

make the U.S. a Role Model. Few Americans would disagree that it’s not desirable for the country to be despised around the world. There must be a better way to have “United Nations” than to have them united in hatred of the U.S. We should be a beacon, a showcase of what people can do when they have opportunity.

Yep, that’s not a complete guide for utopia. Figuring out how these beliefs can be best implemented will even be cause for arguments aplenty. But if we continue to use them as guides, we might have a better chance than by looking at all the things we disagree about!

That’s my hope for 2021’s world. The bar is set pretty low. But we think 2021 can clear it. Happy New Year to all of you … and thanks for checking in here.

29 Replies to “After The Storm Of ’20, A Rainbow Ahead”

  1. Good post Dave…

    I’m optimistic about some things and pessimistic about others (politics).

    Democrats and Republicans act like dogs and cats. The last time they actually worked together well was back in the 90s with Clinton and Gingrich…it seemed like the split coincided with the internet and radio call-in shows. It really sucks because they won’t have anything to do with an idea that the other side comes up with…because it may succeed and they would not get credit.

    BUT… the media isn’t helping either…both sides. Fox and MSNBC both love to stir up tensions…and sometimes over nothing… or only show half-truths to their respective boutique audience. They do as much damage or more as the politicians.

    I don’t see Biden as that much better. He won’t say as stupid of things…yea I’m pessimistic about politics…and political correctness…people are scared to say anything in fear of being called…well take your pick.

    But let’s get over this covid crap…after that, I do hope we appreciate life a little more.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree with the ridiculous headbutting of the 2 parties…witness the inordinate delays getting this Covid relief bill passed when both essentially agreed all along! I thought it was bad in the post 9-11 era but I read that in ’08, months before the election Bush was ordering his people to brief Obama, just in case he won. He knew Obama would need to be upto speed on the economy & foreign threats for good of country. You wouldn’t see that type of co-operation now.
      I have some level of optimism but it’s going to be a slow process at best. I think you’re right about media…when there were 3 big networks & no social media, everyone got the same, basically neutral, news.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I didn’t mean to be a downer Dave…it is sometimes hard to keep optimistic in this mess. You brought up social media…oh yea that is a big mess also. All it does is flames the mess. Neither side will give .

        Some things I am optimistic about…I think the covid stuff will get better.

        Like

  2. Wonderful essay, Dave. Wholeheartedly agree with it all. Noble ideals to strive for. Energy and food are the two biggies that need attention for me. With energy, renewable sources that aren’t fracking or nuclear. We have the capacity and need the commitment on a global scale. With food, non-animal, which is healthy for us and healthy for the planet.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. You feel what you feel, Max. Last week who knows what I would have commented. Day by day. I really think we’re on an irrecoverable slide to extinction but gotta keep hoping for some kind of divine intervention.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Since last year began…it has been depressing and it seemed like everything went wrong.

        When Biden got elected…I heard it clear… “Meet the new boss same as the old boss”

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Well he was Obama’s VP and Obama, although always a gentleman and smooth talked, did a lot of bad things while in office. The Dems are just about as bad as the Reps. We need a Peoples Party. Bernie could have given us that or at least the beginnings of it. I knew the DNC would never allow Bernie to win 😦

        Liked by 2 people

      4. The two parties want power and they play up to their fans…because that is what it has turned in to…like sports teams. Outsiders are not welcomed.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. I think Obama would have done better in a past era without so much obstructionism…which he only increased. Still, Republican hatred for him is rabid while Dems see him as saintly & beyond criticism which is also far-fetched.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Are we talking hatred for Obama or Biden here? I think the Dems and Reps will continue their silly playing violins while Rome burns unless We the People not only say enough but get up and do something about it.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. I was meaning Obama, but it’s also close to as true for Biden I guess. I wouldn’t mind seeing a third party spring up from somewhere in the center, run by ordinary types rather than millionaires. It COULD happen, but I don’t expect it will anytime soon.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. I agree, Dave. I think a large portion of the population on both sides is worn down and mesmerized by this and that. If you look at Maslows hierarchy of needs, if you have to expend all of your energy on just surviving, there isn’t a whole lot of energy left for actualized endeavors like creating a third party and sustaining it to a place where it can compete with the other two.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. I think he’ll be a lot better but not great by any means. And with the animosity between parties in Washington, his ability to do anything much will be more limited still. I do quite like that he’s ‘old school’…he’s willing to listen to others & probably is happy to not be too radical. But out of 300 million people or so, having him be the finest choice…??

        Liked by 1 person

      10. I know…it was like Clinton and Trump in 16…could we not find two better? Really?
        The one thing that was somewhat working before covid was the economy. I hope he doesn’t mess with it too bad. That is about the only thing I was happy about.

        Liked by 1 person

      11. one of my sweetie’s relatives is a diehard Trump guy, which we can’t stand but he’s a good person. I do agree with a few things he says though, one of which is there should be limits… no one really wants career polticians like that old Strom Thurmond guy who spent what ? about six generations in the House of Reps? they get too removed from real people. We need to have more ordinary people running for Congress and president, but I don’t know how that can happen when running a campaign costs so much.

        Liked by 1 person

      12. You hit on something there Dave. Four of my friends are conservative and Trump supporters…I also have liberal friends who hate him…but what I did not like was people saying “only uneducated racist people follow Trump”….that pisssed me off because no…these guys are all college educated and not a racist bone in their body… they should not make general statements like that.

        For liberals to say conservatives are not tolerant…they need to look at themselves also. They would both find they have a lot in common…and the worse things at times.

        I guess my problem with both sides are the extremists. I was not a Trump supporter but there are things I did like…It may be just me but I was happy with the economy and a few of the other things. If he would have kept his mouth shut it would have been better…I wasn’t a Hilary supporter either.

        Liked by 1 person

      13. That’s true – it’s silly to try to label all 75 million people who voted for Trump as the same or declare the only thing that motivated them was racism.
        While I’m not a fan of Biden per se, I do like that he’s relatively centrist. The extreme end of the Democrats annoy me no end too… yeah, I’m looking at you AOC, or I would be if I was playing video games where you do your campaigning. However, I don’t see them as being as dangerous as the extreme RW types…we’ve not yet seenDemocrats try to overthrow an election and simply ignore it because they didn’t like the outcome.
        I hope you’re right about covid! In the longterm, I think sure, it will fade away, millions will get vaccinated and some of those who’ve had it will probably be immune down the road. But in the short-term, I see it getting worse before it gets better. But the quicker it is under control, the better all of us will be.

        Liked by 1 person

      14. Yes extreme of any kind I don’t like. I don’t like the lack of compassion on the extreme republican side and I don’t like the elitist and the political correctness on the extreme left side.

        Once the vaccines get going…which really they should have been more by now…it will help this. Everyone doesn’t have to get one at first before it becomes effective…hell 50 percent will help.

        Liked by 1 person

      15. Definitely… if we get to around half the population vaccinated (and assuming the vaccine works well against the new mutations of the virus), I think we’d have a very manageable situation within weeks… it wouldnt go away but the number of cases would drop dramatically and a somewhat normal version of old days life could resume.

        Liked by 1 person

      16. That is what I was thinking. You know I’m not an isolationist at all but if another virus pops up somewhere other than here…they need to do a better job of closing what they can down…as far as travelers.

        Liked by 1 person

      17. Very true. And dare I say politically incrrectly we need to pressure the Chinese to stop taking the snakes, bats, rats & tigers out of the jungles, stuffing them into cages & eating them. It goes beyond animal rights now & into survival of our species.

        Liked by 1 person

      18. The World Health Org. says covid is NOT the big one…a real pandemic beyond this is all but inevitable unless we start to change our ways. Let’s hope some start to think of that seriously.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Lisa. Environment is big to me too, but it’ s going to be baby steps to the right direction. Brazil’s cutting of the rain forest is the worst immediate global concern to me, but there’s not a great deal US can do to prevent it…has to come from will of people all over.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The US seems to be able to exert its will around the globe for all sorts of other things (like war, oil, disrupting economies and rules of other countries, etc.) but when it comes to saving the planet they are suddenly powerless? We as a nation have let things go too far. Remember when China was a sleeping giant? We prodded and poked it until its materialistic appetite was whetted. There is no putting the genie back in the bottle. Not a pleasant future for humankind on the horizon.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. some truth there… if the US decided to boycott Brazil entirely, rather like they did S.Africa in the apartheid era, and persuade their allies (if they still have any) to do likewise, that country might change its’ policies fairly promptly.

        Liked by 1 person

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