To say 2020 has been a challenge, is a gross understatement. It’s been a challenge for everyone, even the toughest, most independent-minded. Most of us are doing just fine. We aren’t at risk of losing our homes, or having to choose between a car repair and feeding our families. Really, things are just fine. We are doing what we need to do to protect our health and financial security. Or at least that’s what we tell ourselves as we combat the sense that we’re not doing enough, or maybe not the right things.
What we’re experiencing, as a people, is heretofore almost unknown empathy at scale. It’s in our face that others are suffering. And not the people that some write off as having created their own bad luck. Hardworking, deserving people are suffering and scared about what the future brings.
So that feeling, that rawness you feel? It’s empathy for your fellow human, both broad-reaching and up-close and personal. Whether you worry most about the isolated elderly, the many who experience financial struggle through no fault of their own, or the families who struggle with the decision to send their children to school, you are worried for others and their well-being.
What do you do with that empathy? It’s not exactly making you feel good. In fact, it’s making you think about your life, friends, family, career, and the world. All there is to do is all there ever was do to: prioritize how you spend your time and energy. Recognize that we’re in this together. Identify what’s most important to you. Focus on what you are enjoying about time with family. Ask yourself what you are missing that’s important and that you will do once it’s possible. What are you going to learn about yourself, and your priorities, and how you will choose to live your life?
This isn’t a lost year. It’s a year to get to know ourselves and what we live for.