I have no adequate words to describe this year. In the past 12 months I have seen unbelievable anger, hatred and selfishness. I have seen bigotry and stupidity at levels I didn’t think possible in our enlightened day and age. As I bounce across headlines, I realize we haven’t evolved as far as we like to think. We are still very much a lot of cavemen, trembling at thunder and fighting for scraps.
This may be a good thing. What we don’t know can hurt us and ignorance is not bliss, just ignorance. 2020 has brought all the trash out in the open. Our adolescent behavior as a nation has been paraded out on the street to be mocked by the rest of the world. Good. Sometimes to heal, you have to lance the wound and let the poison out. Some of the insanity I’ve seen rising to the surface definitely needs to be lanced.
At the same time, I have seen intense acts of love shared. The darker the night, the brighter the stars shine. I’ve witnessed people who glowed white-hot brilliant with kindness. These are the stories I let live inside of me. These are the stories that make me realize 2020 has given us a choice to make. Are we good, or bad?
As our society polarizes into factions and camps we no longer have the luxury of being bystanders. We are all in this, one way or the other. Something as simple as wearing or not wearing a mask decides our alignment. Did Dr. Suess predict this when he wrote “The Sneetches?” Suddenly everything has collapsed into who has “stars upon thars.” All it took to show our true colors was a tiny virus.
So, fans of speculative fiction—what do we do when Voldemort rises? How do we handle Sauron when he descends Mordor? We resist the shadows. We refuse to collapse and become part of the orc army. We rise above the din and act like heroes. We refuse to accept oppression, we stand up for those who can’t and we share our rations. We face the darkness of night and become stars so others can see.
Here’s to a brighter new year. Stay safe out there. Stay heroic.