Considering the wide-spread struggle, uncertainty and turmoil of 2020, I think many of us are exhaling a hopeful sigh of relief now that we are starting a fresh new year. While the right side of our brains have enjoyed quite a bit of activity this year contending with all of the chaos and unknown, the left sides have been patiently awaiting a return to stability, structure and predictability.
Over the course of the last ten months of "the new normal," I have enjoyed conversations with dozens of creative people, and unsurprisingly, I have heard many varying testimonials. Some have thrived during the months of shutdowns and quarantine, while others have had difficulty locking-in to productivity due to disrupted schedules and a lack of creative motivation and inspiration. But wherever your mind has been during these months, it is safe to say that we are all looking forward to a fresh new year. "BRING ON 2021" need not even be said; it can be read on the few discernible facial features of our masked neighbors.
While only a quick dose of commentary from any major news media will have you believing that the world is coming to an end, I think it would behoove us as a society to carve out a little emotional and intellectual time for reflection on this year’s wins and gains.
This past year has been a period of growth and resilience. The year 2020, with all of its difficulties, disruptions and losses, has offered us a fresh start at a new beginning. We have seen creativity, collaboration, communication, solidarity, empathy, and an admirable level of risk-taking during the COVID months that may have only been realized through experiencing a crisis. From the ICU workers who help keep our society healthy and well, to the creative studio rats who help to define and shape our culture, we have seen this crisis bring out the best in people who are looking forward to a bright and prosperous future.
While many will never fully recover from the losses experienced during COVID, we owe it to the families who lost loved ones, the small-business owners that have struggled and our heroes on the front lines to do our part to not allow anything to have been in vain. The question we then need to ask ourselves as individuals and as a collective society and culture is: What should we shape this new beginning to look like?
Maintenance against the law of entropy is a constant. The second we take our hands off the wheel, things will start to degrade into chaos and disorder. It is only the persistence of the human heart and mind that keeps our world functioning with accelerated progress. One thing we know for certain is that our future will be what we make of it. Whatever future we are aiming toward, for better or for worse, will be the future that is realized.