“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself [or herself].” — Leo Tolstoy
The year 2020 is almost behind us, and it’s been historic. We all had to stop as a global community and come together – while staying apart! – to battle Covid 19. This year will be studied for ages to come, and will be one of those landmark times in history. One day we will say: “I lived through 2020.”
The year 2020 also brought out the best and the worst in people. Government handouts were received gratefully by some, and rorted by others. People who made hard decisions about the livelihoods of others often did so from a secure job themselves. Some businesses succeeded, others failed. Some families flourished, others imploded. Some individuals soared, others didn’t.
Change is never easy, especially when it is forced. But change can initiate reflection and provide an opportunity to break patterns of behaviour. The good news is the chance to do this is only a matter of weeks away.
Every year Australian’s spend about $25 billion on Christmas. That’s a heck of a lot of stuff. Australians have already thrown out a lot of stuff during lockdown, and charity shops enjoyed a surge in donations this year (yay). A lot of people discovered they had too much stuff, and felt lighter when they discarded it. What was important couldn’t actually be bought. But if Christmases past are any guide, more stuff is on the way to most households in Australia. Soon.
So perhaps we should all just say stuff it this year to more stuff, and focus on being truly present for each other instead. Being more loving, more forgiving, more tolerant, less judgemental, and thankful for what we have instead of longing for what we haven’t got. This isn’t a new idea, but it feels like a pandemic year is the perfect time to put our good intentions and what we’ve discovered we’d like to change about our life and ourselves into practice so it’s not a total write off. Here’s to a kinder 2021 towards others and towards ourselves, with more connection and less stuff.