A rough year but an air of hope

The Examiner

Finally, there are glimmers of ... hope.

Yes, it has been a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad year. Many of us lost loved ones. Some of us lost good health. Some said goodbye to jobs and savings. Many lost their faith in democracy.

Ann McFeatters is a TNS op-ed columnist. (TNS)

But still so many of us think there is so much good in so many fellow Earth dwellers that we can still smile and laugh and plan and learn and look forward to finding a path out of a dark period of despair. The pendulum has swung. Not all the way back, but it's moving.

The system worked. The man with 6 million more votes won. The Supreme Court did not decide the victor. Spurious claims of fraud and conspiracy were disproved. Damage was done; it will be repaired.

Miraculously, thanks to scientists working together around the globe and around the clock, there are three potential vaccines on the horizon. That would be unprecedented accomplishment in such a short time.

Mask wearing may become a universal recognition that an unseen virus is on the prowl killing the unsuspecting, not a boast of political or cultural belief. Perhaps, even, a tardy farewell to the idea “I am free not to wear a mask even if it kills or sickens you.”

There now will be official recognition that climate change must be a focus of worldwide attention, led, at last, by the United States. Saving the planet will be seen as a noble venture – saving lives, saving species, creating jobs.

The volatile stock market did not crash. It boomed after the election on the promise of stability, reason, experience and, well, hope.

Government should soon start functioning again, as those with experience and dedication and passion for justice and truth come out of lying low to do their jobs with vigor and, well, hope. 

The justice system may live up to its name and won't be unleashed periodically on political enemies. Voter suppression will be seen as a criminal offense. 

Racial divisions won't be stoked to white heat at the top.

We all have learned a lot in 2020. It remains to be seen if we can say we learned enough and if the lessons will be retained.

Because 2021 will be tough. More death. Sickness. More businesses shutting down. A sagging economy. Food shortages. Evictions. Our better angels taking too many days off. Demagoguery. A struggle to regain our international credibility. Seventy-three million people who think, wrongly, they were shafted.

But there's something in the air (besides a killer virus). It's a new determination to enjoy what we have, to appreciate the little things and respect the big things. To give and donate and decorate and bake and cook and volunteer and create and sing. And hope.

Ann McFeatters is an op-ed columnist for Tribune News Service. Readers may send her email at amcfeatters@nationalpress.com.