2020 was a year that forced many of us to go within. With the world as we knew it changing before our eyes, many questioned the deeper meaning behind a global pandemic and racial unrest. Confined to our homes like never before and alone with our thoughts, we were forced to confront ourselves in new ways. The Chicago Defender asked our readers to tell us what lessons they gained in 2020. Here were some of your responses:
“It’s okay to pause to catch your breath”-Whit, Chicago.
“2020 taught the importance of taking much-needed breaks to spend time re-focusing the vision and goals. It also taught me to stay prepared, so I’m not struggling to get prepared. I own an event planning business, and when covid-19 first happened, it took me out of business. I never thought of exploring the virtual event world until now. But this year gave me time to spend with my parents (both suffering from cancer). My dad lost his life to that and covid-19. This time showed me what really important.”-Darra, Chicago.
“This year has shown me that I am nothing without faith. I enjoyed many highs during 2020, and yet I can also bear witness to some valley lows. Nevertheless, 2020 has taught me to be grateful in the midst of it all. Nothing is to be taken for granted. I find joy in the ability to wiggle my fingers, which is something most may not think of. There are no little blessings. All blessings are huge. This year has also taught me that it’s the shared testimonies that carry the torch of hope and encouragement needed to make it from one moment to the next.”-Lisa, Chicago.
” I learned that sitting still is truly a time of healing. During this time, I have been able to reflect and truly pour my energy into the things that matter. I am grateful for all the lessons 2020 has taught me.’-Jurema, Chicago.
” I moved to the USA two years ago, after visiting for more than 20 years. 2020 ‘happened’ while I am still settling in and getting used to life here. 2020 showed me the underbelly of systemic racism in the USA. I saw how determined some sectors of humanity are to advance an agenda of hatred and maintain the status quo of inequality created by their forebears. I also saw our world systems’ fragility as the coronavirus pandemic exposed unstable governmental and organizational structures and confirmed the systems that work. And 2020 showed me the beauty and resilience of the human spirit. The thoughtful acts of kindness we freely shared with each other.”-Tabitha, Rochester Hills, MI
” 2020 taught me to slow down and enjoy every moment! I learned to be at peace with being alone doing nothing. It truly revealed how blessed I really am and how much I took for granted. I have learned to appreciate everything!’-Kelly, South Suburbs, Chicago.
” Despite the devastating health impacts of COVID-19, coupled with the immense inconveniences it has carried, one teachable moment for me has been our ability to find innovative ways to engage. From Zooms for meetings and get-togethers to drive-by parades to celebrate birthdays, graduations, etc.., to writing letters to loved ones – even in our distance state, we are keeping close!!!! “-Keiana, Chicago.
We thank our loyal readers for responding to the question of what 2020 taught you. As for me, I became Interim Managing Editor of the Chicago Defender this year. 2020 was eye-opening. In covering stories in our community, I was reminded of Black Media’s importance, especially during turbulent times. No one can tell our stories better than us, and the Chicago Defender is committed to continuing our long-standing tradition of telling our stories with authenticity, heart, and a consistent commitment to our communities.
From the Chicago Defender family to yours, we wish you all a Happy, Healthy, Safe, and Prosperous New Year!
Interim Managing Editor Danielle Sanders is a writer and journalist living in Chicago. Find her on social media @DanieSandersOfficial.