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2020 VisionAn article by Tom Gilbert - copyright ©June 29, 2020
A song written by Johnny Nash and popularized by singer Jimmy Cliff sings of optimism in the face of adversity.
I can see clearly now the rain is gone I can see all obstacles in my way Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind It's gonna be a bright (bright) Bright (bright) sunshiny day
Oh, yes I can make it now the pain is gone All of the bad feelings have disappeared Here is that rainbow I've been praying for It's gonna be a bright (bright) Bright (bright) sunshiny day
These are words to cling to as we continue to face the multitude of challenges this year has brought us. 2020 has become the “Year of the Pandemic”. But the trials and tribulations brought about by the worldwide Covid 19 virus are only part of the story.
Unrest over racial injustice, police brutality, economic inequality, a struggle for civil rights for all and the very welfare of our planet in the face of ongoing climate change consequences are putting “pain and obstacles” right in our face.
Never in my lifetime have we had a year with so much upheaval. Yes, some of these problems have been around for a long time, but it appears that it’s coming to a head. We may not want to see it. It can be hard to look at the truth of what needs to change and what needs to be done. But we ignore it at our own peril. Thus the sage saying, “If nothing changes, nothing changes.”
How ironic that this is all happening this year. 2020 vision is the term for visual acuity, the clarity or sharpness of vision measured at 20 feet. If you have 20-20 vision you don’t need corrective lenses. You have good eyesight. This year we really need to see clearly.
How do we find that “bright, sunshiny day”?
First, we have to take our blinders off. To see clearly we must look past the dark clouds that have blinded us so we can see the obstacles in our way.
Now, more than ever, we as a society need clear vision. We need the sight to see our way to a better future. We need a vision of a world where what really matters - honoring the dignity of all people and all things, including our planetary home - becomes a reality. As history should have taught us, and our present circumstances are making apparent, is the interconnectedness of lives that matters. We ARE in this all together and when we dishonor any part, especially the least among us, we are harming the whole.
Our “2020 Vision” should make it obvious that our relationships connect and animate us all. Unfortunately, what I see is still a lot of people blinded to this truth. Too many people are clinging to a way of seeing that is exclusive, not inclusive.
That way of seeing doesn’t work. It’s like looking through the wrong end of a telescope. Narrow and small.
We need an expansive and broad vision.
We need to stop seeing the other as the enemy. The “enemy” is the belief that others we view as different are somehow a threat. Maybe you are nervous, frightened, or opposed to the protests for social justice. I am encouraged by it. We have to ask ourselves a pointed question: are we part of the problem - or part of the solution?
This is a good year for us to ponder the above question. What is blinding us? What dark clouds have us blind?
2020 is a year of growing pains.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to really grow up this year? I, for one, am doing a great deal of self examination. Maturity doesn’t come easily, but come it must.
Maybe instead of “Year of the Pandemic” we can claim this year as “2020 Vision”.
Everybody has a story to tell!