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  • Writer's pictureJoshua C. Black

A Reflection on the Challenges of the Past Year and a Warm Welcome to 2021

By: Joshua C. Black, Esq.

For most people, 2020 was a hard year and unlike anything previously experienced. From anxiety about COVID-19 to employment worries, housing insecurity, political strife and racial tensions, 2020 was terrifying at times and, as a society, we are exhausted.

However, as the new year begins, it’s the perfect time to reflect and take inventory of not only what the past year encompassed, but also what we hope for in the year ahead.

The global pandemic made us appreciate some of the small things we may have taken for granted in the hustle and bustle of years past. It taught us about humility, self-sacrifice and kindness. It also brought out the negative in some people. But even the ugly situations provided invaluable lessons for us and our children. Learning from the anger and divisiveness we saw in the world last year can provide a roadmap to what we want to avoid in the future. It may also inspire us to search for tools we need make our communities more loving, tolerant and stronger in the years ahead.

2020 brought a new way of connecting with loved ones – both in person and virtually. We moved toward a simpler way of life and things like reading, doing puzzles, and taking a hike provided a much-needed respite from the uncertainty in the world. Hardships provided many families perspective about what is really important in life – and what may not have been that significant, in the grand scheme of things.

As we end the year, there are many things to be grateful for and, thanks to COVID-19 vaccines in the early distribution phases, 2021 is likely to be a much better year for Americans. With a return to some normalcy, safer gathering opportunities, the reopening of many small businesses and better unemployment numbers, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

As the new year begins, remember to be kind to yourself, especially given the year we just had. Along with vowing to lose weight, travel more, or get out of debt, remember to also include spending quality time with loved ones, prioritizing self-care and giving back to your community.

2021 is what you make of it and for me, my family and friends, I hope that one year from now there will be less hardship, grief and fear and more kindness, relief and wellbeing in the world.

Happy New Year to you and your loved ones!

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