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Letters: Is Richmond and beyond up for the challenge?

Richmond News reader wonders if we are all up for the challenge of learning from 2020
More Canadians are willing to take the COVID-19 vaccine when it's available, according to anew survey. Angus Reid Institute photo

Dear Editor,

There was a program on television which asked viewers to finish the following sentence: The year 2020 has been...

I couldn’t help but participate.

Needless to say, 2020 was the year of the global pandemic, which was not only a health crisis but brought with it an economic crisis and an illustration of society’s social injustices. I also recalled  various media platforms referring to the global crisis as the “great awakening” or the “great pause” or “reset.”

Along those same lines, it didn’t take me long to finish the sentence. I came up with this: The year 2020 has been...exactly what the world needed. Of course, I say this with much due respect to the frontline workers and people whose lives were dramatically affected by the pandemic.

The year 2020 laid bare for us the fact we play a role in the world’s deep seated and disturbing problems. The gaps of inequities are too wide. The many systems we have in place are broken. It has many flaws and doesn’t work for most people. It’s unevenly distributed. It’s responsible for great destruction.

And woven into the fabric of these systems are people’s lives and many are caught in its webbings.

The problems are not news. We’ve all heard about them. The problem is that not enough of us have paid enough attention or taken strong enough action. That’s why I believe we are complicit. It doesn’t mean we are bad people. We just didn’t think it affected all of us — until recently.

We are intrinsically linked in the landscape of humanity but failed to see. It’s why the global crisis is exactly what the world needed.

We all ought to take a deep breath now and think deeply about what to put back into our lives. We should pay attention to people outside of our own circles.

However, if only a small segment of the population do that, we won’t likely see the positive change we need. This is much like herd immunity, where we need 75 per cent of the population to be inoculated. In the same way, we need 75 per cent of the world to pay attention, be better and do better.

Whether we come out of this global crisis as a more evolved species or not remains to be seen.

We can’t and shouldn’t go back to the way things used to be.

Otherwise, the problems of the past will only exacerbate the problems of the future.

What we need to put back into our lives is more people; different people...not more and more different things for ourselves.

The idea is to look out for one another as a means of expediting human evolution towards a collective consciousness of equity and dignity.

This, I believe, is our greatest challenge if we want to live in a better world going forward.

Ben Mejillia