2020 Taught Me That People Don't Care About Each Other As Much As I Wanted To Believe

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2020 Events Have Taught Me That People Don't Love One Another As We Should
Self

The year 2020 has been just shy of absolutely terrible. It seems as if each day is welcomed with its own negative event. Some of the most prominent incidents we’ve experienced this year:

What’s most surprising about all of this is that there’s actually a lot I’ve missed — these are just some of the events I’m aware of. Considering that it’s only June, it’s shocking that the world has endured this much damage. 

Granted, global pandemics typically don’t occur every year so it makes sense that this year feels so unique. Nevertheless, it feels like it’s just one thing after another — and that’s a scary thing. 

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If you’re like me, this year has taken a large toll on your mental and emotional state. Anxiety levels have spiked, feelings of sadness are always present, and fear is your middle name. I feel you!

It’s hard to accept all that has happened and will continue to happen. And it’s incredibly easy to lose hope for a light at the end of the tunnel. 

For most of us, we’ve never experienced anything like this year. And for those that have lived through similar hardships, this is the first time that social media is so deeply involved. All in all, this is entirely new territory for everyone. 

You would think that we would be more gentle and loving to one another. But this is far from the truth.

Instead, people have chosen to defy the rules (not wear a mask) and spread hatred (defend the murder of George Floyd). 

In its disheartening portrayal of how unkind humankind really is, 2020 has challenged us to be leaders rather than followers. Yet, from what I can see, most people are choosing the latter. 

Until this year, I believed that people cared for strangers. After all, being considerate of someone you don’t know seems like a fundamental deed. Weren’t we all raised to be kind to our neighbor? 

Nonetheless, people refuse to wear a mask and social distance because they believe it’s taking away their “freedom.” What they’re not understanding is that these are the things we need to do for, not only ourselves but also others. 

Maybe these people don’t have elderly relatives that are at high risk for coronavirus, but that doesn’t mean they can’t put themselves in someone else’s shoes. Regardless of age or underlying health conditions, this virus is taking the lives of perfectly healthy people. 

In my opinion, that should be as good a reason as any to take the precautionary steps necessary. However, when the leadership in our country refuses to acknowledge the threats of science, it may seem less serious.

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Shouldn’t our president care for the citizens of the U.S.? How can any death toll at all be considered “very strong?” Why are we not doing more to honor the lives lost? Isn’t this part of human decency? 

When the model for how we should approach a global pandemic is a selfish person, it’s only natural that others follow suit. Even though the focus should be on protecting the health of ourselves and loved ones, it has become political newspeak. 

I don’t deny that these are uncertain and stressful times, but it’s discouraging that kindness and tolerance isn’t a priority. That should be the most certain part of all of this because we already know how to love. 

Or do we? Seeing as the unjust murder of George Floyd proves otherwise. A cop’s number one job is to protect — not to disregard the pleading of a man who can’t breathe. Not to stand by as you see a man lose his life. 

Somehow people validated this behavior, confirming that there are people who truly believe a man has less dignity based on the color of his skin. 

When people become upset with this because they’ve had enough, they are tear-gassed, kicked, arrested, and shot at. No one is trying to understand one another. There is no room for open discussion, only violence.

But isn’t that what we’re trying to fight against?

If people were as compassionate as I’ve always thought, we wouldn’t be where we are right now. I bet coronavirus would be in its final stages and I’m positive that George Floyd would still be alive. 

How did we get here? Can we ever get back? What can we do today to love one another? 

Sometimes I just want to crawl up in a ball and cry until there’s nothing left. The world we’re living in is not a good one and I’m afraid it won’t ever get better. 

It may not be practical to look for a silver lining, because honestly, I’m not so sure it exists yet. We can, however, make changes in our own lives — that, we have control over. 

Personally, I am making the conscious effort to be kinder to those around me. I’m staying off social media because I don’t like the way it makes me feel. 

I was constantly seeing hatred and disturbing videos of our justice system. Those things make me angry, further disrupting my inner peace. I don’t want to feed into the noise anymore.

It’s also important to be open about your emotions. I’ve been doing a lot of journaling and talking about social issues with those I trust. 

I want to spread the love and positivity that I believe our world is lacking. Maybe I can be a silver lining. Maybe you can too.

In the wake of a very difficult year, we must choose to be generous, caring, and sympathetic. Only then can we help create a world that isn’t so fearful. 

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Isabella Pacinelli is a writer who covers love, relationships, sex, self-care, body confidence, women’s health, college, and entertainment topics.