“You must find a way to get in the way. You must find a way to get in trouble, good trouble, necessary trouble.”
— Rep. John Lewis
Illness and death are a part of life. Violence, unfortunately, is too.
We grieve. We suffer. Any other year, I might have said these are all a part of the natural order of being human.
But this year has been excruciating.
For 10 consecutive months, nearly every person in this country, and most people around the world, have experienced grief and suffering so overwhelming that we’ve had no choice other than to turn to each other for comfort and support: financial, material, or just a kind word. And for those with no one to turn to, it became clear that connection to others is indeed a basic need.
It was crystallized, for me, that we are not individuals but a collective.
I’ve been thinking a lot about that: This interconnectedness between us—between humans. No matter where in the world we are, the complexion of our skin, the language we speak, the gods we worship, many of us have been experiencing the same fears, the same losses.
I’m reminded, though, that even as I’ve had to unlearn the lies and propaganda taught to me via official U.S. history and cultural fabrications, so many are now on the path of unlearning, and relearning the truth about our collective history.
This one year has laid bare our frailties, imperfections, and proclivities, as well as the gaping inequalities, inequities, and injustices that continue to exist. Nonetheless, it has allowed us to witness our potential to be better family, friends, and neighbors—to be better humans together.
As you spend time at the end of this year reflecting and setting goals for 2021, here’s one to consider: “What one thing can I change about myself that will work for the good of all those in my immediate circle, extended family circle, community circle or neighborhood or workplace, local, state, national circle.”
To read more of Zenobia Jeffries Warfield's article, please click here, 2020 Has Shown Us the Way Forward - Yes! Magazine
ZENOBIA JEFFRIES WARFIELD is the executive editor at YES!, where she directs editorial coverage for YES! Magazine, YES! Media’s editorial partnerships, and serves as chair of the YES! Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee. A Detroit native, Zenobia is an award-winning journalist who joined YES! in 2016 to build and grow YES!’s racial justice beat, and continues to write columns on racial justice. In addition to writing and editing, she has produced, directed, and edited a variety of short documentaries spotlighting community movements to international democracy.