We’ve all seen the constant flow of memes anthropomorphizing the current calendar year as some soulless beast wreaking havoc on humanity and sewing chaos amongst the masses. I’ve shared plenty of these memes myself, and I get a kick out of them. It brings comfort, I think, to imagine that it is the year itself that is the cause of all that has gone wrong. However, looming over the not too distant future is the promise of continued strife, division, and plague.

2020 has given us all an opportunity to examine our lives with a magnifying glass and reevaluate all we have. We’ve all been forced to tighten our belts, delay trips, and stay away from those we enjoy spending time with. We’ve even had to figure out how to more carefully ration our toilet paper, which might have been the most terrifying struggle of the year.

Something came across my Facebook feed last week that really stood out to me. The post read, “2020 isn’t the year to wish for all the things you want, it’s the year to be grateful for all the things you have.” As poignant as that statement is, it’s a bit limiting, isn’t it? Let’s take it one step further.

2020 isn’t the year to wish for all the things we want, it’s the year to really look at what we value, what we appreciate, and why we appreciate it. 2020 is the year to look at all the things we have that we don’t need; all the things we have that others don’t. 2020 is the year to go through our closets and storage boxes to find the extra clothes, toys, games, etc. that we never use anymore and may have forgotten about and to seek out those who lack that which we have in excess. 2020 is the year to balance the scales. 2020 is the year to etch into our memory what it’s like to want and to need; what it’s like to go without, to be afraid, and to yearn for hope.

If we can manage all that, 2021 and beyond might not seem so bad, not only for us, but for everyone else to.

(The Wright Idea is a monthly column created by Nogales author Joe Wright in honor of his father's long-time NI column, the Wright Stuff. Contact him at josephw575@ gmail.com)

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