So many people are looking forward to flipping the calendar to 2021. What worries me, though, is so much of what has burdened us in 2020 is going to follow us into the New Year.

The pandemic will still be here. Political strife will continue. More people will lose their jobs and businesses. The divisiveness won’t disappear.

While Jan. 20 will mean a new president will be sworn in to lead the United States, it doesn’t mean instant change in the way so many would like to see. Remember, more than 74 million people voted for the loser. He will be ushered out of the White House, but his followers aren’t going anywhere.

Clearly, the electeds are not leading the United States to a place where we can agree to disagree, to where we respect one another even when we believe something else. The electeds have failed us in so many ways. That should hopefully lead to an overhaul of those in office at all levels in the coming years.

It is time for we the people to solve our problems—big and small. Maybe that includes acts of defiance. I have disagreed with the shutdown of the businesses since last March. I don’t believe a government should be able to close a business without paying the business to do so, which in turn means the employees will get paid. Maybe it’s time for businesses to operate however they want, and it is up to customers to decide if they are good with whatever protocols may or may not be in place.

Yes, health is more important than money. But without money, people can’t survive. They can’t pay their medical bills, let alone put food on the table, pay the rent or mortgage, along with all the other expenses of living.

Masks might be part of our lives for quite a while. Plenty of people won’t get the coronavirus vaccine, and even with it, some people will still contract the virus. Plus, it’s too soon to know how long the doses will last. Will people need to get the shot annually? Maybe. It’s still unbelievable to me that masks became politicized. Even social distancing is balked at. I wear a seat belt in a vehicle, a helmet when I cycle and ski. I wear a shirt and shoes into a business. Wearing a mask has not prohibited me from doing anything I want to do. Wearing a mask is a simple act to demonstrate you care about the health of others. It’s so incredibly selfish not to wear one.

What concerns me about having hope for 2021 is that so many talk about returning to what life was like pre-pandemic. It’s not going to happen. That could be a good thing. Were things really that great? We have the opportunity to learn from this huge disruption of 2020 and move forward, not back to what was. This will take work and will not be easy. Rarely, though, is something that is worth doing ever simple or easy.

People are already making adjustments to how they conduct business, where they do it, and even deciding to move into a new field. Pivot is one of the most overused words of the year; but that is exactly what people have been doing—pivoting as one roadblock after another has been thrown at them. Being able to pivot is an action that will follow us into 2021.

I am hopeful and optimistic things will get better. But that will be up to us to make it happen. It’s going to take courage, innovation, strength, determination, compromise and willpower. It’s also going to take cooperation, listening, and trust. We can do this–this being making the world a better place for everyone.

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