With all that has happened this year, it’s okay to get a little lost in the chaos. I mean, a deadly virus has us stuck within the confines of our homes, while protests—for basic human rights, no less—fill the streets outside. It’s safe to say that 2020 was a roller coaster of monumental events. But, that doesn’t mean they were all terrible. When we complain that nothing good has come from 2020, are we speaking the truth? Has there really been no upside to 2020, or have we just stopped looking for one? [1] 

In recent months, one thing has become quite clear; the latter is correct. As marches and protests continue, so do the long-overdue changes that ensue. For starters, the United States has elected its first female Black, South Asian Vice President. And though Kamala Harris has much work to do in order to become someone that we can look up to, she has opened doors of opportunity for women of colour all across the nation. In fact, this year, a record number of women, more specifically women of colour, have run for congress.[1]

Although it is indeed disheartening to be prevented from seeing our loved ones due to this omnipresent pandemic, this imperative separation has only grown our fondness for one another. The restrictions haven’t only hindered us, rather, they have enabled us to become innovative forces; sending each other cards and care packages, having virtual movie nights over video calls, and loving and listening to one another from a distance. This pandemic has given us an opportunity to show those we love, and perhaps those that we don’t know, how much we care about them—and we care about them enough to prioritize their safety. And let’s not forget that during these times, more people have been advocating for those whose voices have been silenced for so long. There has been a great amount of awareness surrounding the persecution of Muslims, and ways we can help; this can be anywhere between a small donation towards the cause, to writing emails to our government, urging them to take action against these heinous crimes.

This past year, and the changes it has brought about, have been a means of healing for marginalized communities, and of learning, or rather, unlearning, for the rest of society. It has been a time for reflection, and acts of care and love towards one another. In times like these, it is essential that we come together as a community and look for the silver lining. We’ve been so focused on the negative aspects of this year, and so frequently have we blamed the bad on “2020”, that we haven’t stopped to ask ourselves whether it was us that was to blame; for letting these events slow us down, for letting them get to us. Together, we are stronger. Together, we can find the good, even if it seems as though there isn’t any left. Spoiler alert: there always is.

[1] “Women, and Women of Color, Running for Seats in Congress Are Setting a Record,” November 3, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/nov/02/women-of-color-congress-record-us-elections.