Like it or not we are making history. Are you writing it down? Will the next generation really understand what 2020 was like? Who knows what will seem important to others a couple of decades from now?
This month, August 2020, my father would have been 100 years old.
When I realized that, I began to think about how much the world has changed since he was born. World War I had just ended and the Spanish Flu epidemic had died down. Both events took millions of lives. The roaring twenties was the world releasing the tensions after these two major events.
So many appliances that we take for granted were rare back then if they existed at all. Communication was transitioning into the electronic age. Transportation was becoming more rapid, making the world seem smaller. But I think that for the average person, there were many little things that seemed more important at the time. Surviving a pandemic, mourning the loss of loved ones, learning just how important it was to tell people you loved them – these were important experiences that would mark them for many years.
It has helped me to learn more history of my ancestors, my country, and my world. It helps keep things in perspective. Somehow the world has survived and even progressed. Humanity has found ways to overcome tragedies, improve living conditions, and progress in our scientific knowledge. We have not done a very good job of improving our relationships with one another.
In this current year, we have the twin challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and addressing the systemic ethnic injustice that has festered for centuries. None of us knows what the future will hold, but I pray that historians will write about how we overcame both these challenges. It would be great if the rest of this decade was a celebration of improved responses to viruses and a celebration of the diversity of ethnicities that are included in our common humanity. I think a God of Love would see that has real progress – history being made!