On what was and what will be 

Published January 22, 2021, 11:54 PM

by Alex M. Eduque


Alex Eduque
Alex Eduque

Many people found hope this week as Joe Biden and Kamala Harris took oath as the new president and vice-president of the United States of America. After 2020, it seems that more people are more attuned and open to change (at least in my opinion) and no longer resist this or merely see it as one of the only constants in this world. Rather, just like the onset and coming of a new year, it has become a symbol for new beginnings and for many, a sign of promise.  And though the optimist in me will always celebrate the coming of a new year and jump on that bandwagon, 2020 has given me ample time to reflect on reality and the world as it really is.

For instance, even in the advent of vaccines, 2021 will not magically fix the pandemic or make COVID-19 disappear. After all, the concept of a “new year” is but a concept of humanity – a paradigm of sorts that places emphasis and chooses to celebrate a full-revolution of the Earth around the sun. So what does differentiate January first every year from any other day? Will 2021 be a mere continuation of life as we have come to know it in 2020, albeit with a few adjustments and shows of progress back to the “normal” we once knew here and there? Or have we simply adapted and learned to maneuver around the new construct of what “day-to-day” life now is?

Truth is, though we may see ourselves and our loved ones aging physically; leaves changing color in some parts of the world, temperatures dropping and children growing, time does not differentiate between days’ even if some happen to mark milestones and be more special than others. The clock keeps ticking, there will always be 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, seven days in a week. There are days we wished never happened, and days we wished never ended. But truth is, no matter what transpires in a day, and even if some feel much longer than others, the sun will always rise and set and life goes on.

The future is here for it is simply created today. It can either be a reward for or consequence of what we choose to do at present. As we face the tomorrows to come, I have come to accept that there will never be a quick fix for 2020 and the pandemic we all live in. No vaccine will necessarily return our lives to the “normal” we once knew – the one which after many months of slow living and relishing in the small things we may have come to realize should never have been. The one we took for granted, over-exhausted ourselves in, and exploited our natural resources for, like they were unlimited. As auspicious as the year may have been, 2020 was surely the compounded result of decades of poor human behavior – a build up of flaws, if you will, that desensitized humanity to what truly matters. It was an accumulation of oppression, corruption, injustices, and power-play in different corners of the world that caused the world to come to a halt. One that we all needed to better gain an understanding and renewed perspective of what truly our role in this planet is.

True to the words of the amazing 22-year-old Amanda Gorman as she ended her poem that she shared during the US presidential inauguration: “For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.” Most especially to my generation and the next, my plea to all of you is to consciously choose to become a better version of yourselves every day – small changes will yield brighter tomorrows. The only way for 2021 and the years to come to be better than the 2020 we all wish to forget is if we consciously choose to make a difference and be an agent of change.

Change begins within each on of us, and the true cure to this pandemic is the wiser, more conscious actions and smarter decisions we choose to make today, and in the tomorrows to come.