A young woman at work recently asked a poignant question: ” Has God given up on us, because we expected 20-plenty but all we got was Covid-19 with plenty of misery, anxiety and loss”.
She was asking a question echoed by thousands across the world. The year 2020 arrived loaded with great expectations. We aptly termed it twenty-plenty, rich with hope for growth and prosperity.
However, the events of the recent months are contrary to what we expected. There has been great disruptions to our lives in ways we could not have imagined. Our collective stories and experiences about the loss of lives and livelihoods due to Covid-19 is tempting many to believe 2020 should be relegated to the dustbin of history with all those toilet papers we panic bought, as a wasted year.
Yet, while the year comes with hard questions without ready answers, it is also a year rich with hope and possibilities as we reimagine ourselves and the world going forward. And for many of us, we realise that a better future starts with us centering our common humanity as a template.
Nowhere in recent history have we stopped to reflect of the true state of humanity and the gaping fault lines like now. The pandemic has opened our hearts and forced us to see things we were “blinded” to.
Around the world and certainly here in South Africa, acts and stories of human generosity and ingenuity abound. Unlikely heroes are rising out of obscurity. We are redefining and recognising the value of essential workers, the ones putting their lives on the line for all of us. We are witnessing people digging into their pockets to share with others. We witness governments committing huge resources to alleviate poverty and assist businesses. Businesses are repurposing to serve the desperate needs of the moment. Priorities are shifting to put lives before profits.
The lesson of the moment is that when we are left with nothing but each other, we are compelled to reach inside to what truly matters. It is a year of great gains in spite of the losses. It’s a time of rebirth for our souls.
So while I also don’t have answers for the hard questions, this I am sure of: 2020 is a year of God’s plenty. It is a year we rediscovered our common destiny and made positive changes in our spheres of influence.
“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten we belong to each other.” – Mother Teresa
God bless Afrika and her people.
pearl p mashabane