2020 had a nearly palpable veil of continuous uncertainty.
Compared to some years, we had it hard.
Compared to others, we didn’t.
The best thing to do, of course, is not to compare.
“Comparison is the thief of joy,” proclaimed Theodore Roosevelt. Well, Roosevelt’s words are generally accurate, but I can think of an exception to his proclamation! With the creation of his Julian calendar, to realign the Roman calendar with the sun, Julius Caesar had to add 90 extra days to the year 46 BC. We can be happy that we are not adding any days to 2020 past our usual 365!
The Italian doctor, Aloysius Lilius, developer of the Gregorian calendar introduced by Pope Gregory XIII, manipulated the Julian calendar, which was off due to a miscalculation by Caesar. However, he was still off by 26 seconds. Each year since 1582, a discrepancy of several hours has occurred. Think of that when you’re celebrating New Year’s Eve. By the year 4049, the Gregorian calendar will be a full day ahead of the solar year.
The COVID-19 outbreak wrought much disruption.
Our ancestors also had years of upheaval with famine, plagues, and wars. So when we talk about returning to normal, maybe we should consider there is no normal. We are continually acquainting ourselves with change and new opportunities. We have no guarantees that today will be better or worse than yesterday.
Perhaps, the “new normal” is that we will be more comfortable with the unfamiliar.
2020 witnessed the power of people to help each other. Against all odds, people have willingly stepped up to take action to make the world a better place. Humanity has more work to do to connect compassionately and equitably.