Who doesn’t love starting over with a clean slate — a chance to set new goals and plans, and have a fresh new start? I always look forward to the start of every year and this time around is much more special: not only is it a new year but it is also the start of a new decade.
But so far, a month in 2020 and so many things have already happened. Catastrophic bushfires, volcano eruptions, flooding, discrimination, violence, threats of war, a virus outbreak, and tragic deaths. Prior to what we all imagined of a new start, 2020 is off to a devastating start.
“Unfortunately, the new year does not seem to be punctuated by encouraging signs, but rather by an intensification of tensions and violence. It is precisely in the light of these circumstances that we cannot stop hoping. And hope requires courage. It demands the awareness that evil, suffering and death will not prevail and that even the most complex issues can and must be addressed and resolved.”Pope Francis
It is in these very moments that we need to find strength and the motivation to keep striving for a new start. As Pope Francis has said, 2020 had a discouraging start but “we cannot stop hoping”. Perhaps we don’t need a new year to begin anew, every single moment we have is a chance for a new beginning.
Here are a few things to keep in mind from all that has happened in 2020 so far:
Strive for what you want to do
So many times in our lives, we let other people interfere with what we want to do. We seek for acceptance and verification from others, often sticking to the common, eventually letting go of our exciting and extraordinary dreams.
It’s 2020, it’s time to fight for all the things we want. Some people want to stay on the safe path, while some desire to follow their dreams. Let them. Be in charge of your life, and let others be in charge of theirs. Encourage your friends and family when they do something out of the ordinary, it would mean a lot for them. Likewise, free yourself from worries and doubt that have kept you from doing the things you have wanted for such a long time.
Keep up with what is happening in the world and be involved
Learn about global issues and challenges in the world today. I used to avoid talking about politics with friends and family because I didn’t want to fight with them after clashing opinions. But I learned that politics is an inevitable part of our society and our lives whether we like it or not. We can never escape it.
Amidst so many forms of discrimination and injustice happening today, be involved in political discourse, and stop tolerating your friends or family who promote hate in the world. When engaging in a political discussion, try to hear each other out and disagree respectfully. A study conducted by Yale students has found that when you make someone feel safe, their political opinions are more likely to change. Instead of acting like the trolls online, educate (not preach) others by citing facts as respectfully and patiently as you can.
Express your emotions
Today taught me that something as simple as you and your family leaving home and returning safely is such an underrated blessingtheartidote
With everything that happened last month, we all witnessed how cruel life could be. Memento mori is a Latin phrase that literally means “remember you must die” that reminds us of our mortality and the fragility of human life. Since the beginning of time, death has always been an inevitable and inescapable truth – kings, slaves, rich, poor, powerful, and weak – no matter what their status is, everyone eventually dies. However, this phrase is not just a reminder that our life can end in an instant but it also serves as an inspiration to treasure life as is.
Make every single day count by telling your loved ones you love them. It’s much better to feel a few minutes of embarrassment while expressing what you feel than living a life full of regrets not expressing them at all. Make good memories with the special people in your life and never stop reminding them how much you appreciate their existence.
As long as I am breathing, in my eyes, I am just beginning.Criss Jami
I’ve always fantasied new starts brought by new years but just a month in 2020 and it has already taught me that it doesn’t specifically have to be a new year to have a new start. Every single day is a new start: fail today, try again tomorrow. 2020 may have started badly but we have 11 more months to change everything. Keep your head up, soldier. We got this.
Let me know how January has been for you, and how you plan to spend the rest of the year on the comments below!