It has been quite the week, quite the month, and quite the year. It is one of those years that many people cannot wait to get over with. Before the entity that is 2020 has left us, we should not let the opportunity to reflect upon the events that have occurred in the past year. When I reflect upon this year, the things that I am thankful for, I feel a second feeling is required to temper and provide the perspective that many of the events of this year have revealed.
I am incredibly thankful for the opportunities I have, the support I have from friends and family, and the comforts I have in life. I am thankful for the relationships that have helped me move through this year. These things are a blessing. However, when we see the hurt and hate that has happened this year, that tempering feeling drives the feeling of being blessed, but also reminds me this is not normal for everyone. While I was searching for a good way to describe my feelings, Dispatch released the song “May We All”. Two lines within the chorus help give me the centering point of this reflection. “May we all be forsaken” is the first line. We can never truly understand the communities who are oppressed, and feeling that “forsaken”, but we can listen to those groups and try to make changes in our lives that can reflect that we have listened.
The second line is “Ask me why I was crying, said I stubbed my toe/ And I wanted to blame the roots of the trees/ For pushing up the concrete but now I know”. As impactful as the first line was for me as a general sentiment, this phrase hit a bad habit I have, that I have worked on this year. It can be easy when something happens, to not look beyond the surface level problem. When we stub [our] toe[s], it can be very difficult to look beyond the concrete that was pushed up by the roots. But can we really be mad at the roots? This is the situation that the roots have been placed in, and to thrive and grow, the established barriers needed to be disrupted. It may have been a bit inconvenient for some of us, but we need to understand that that small inconvenience is resulting in the breaking of barriers.
I encourage everyone this holiday season to be thankful, we should always be thankful for what we have. But let 2020 be the year we reflect a bit more, think about our perspectives, consider others, and make changes, that even if they are a “stubbed toe” of inconvenience, that they may be helping facilitate a world where roots can grow unimpeded by the concrete.