Looking ahead to 2021
By Raafi-Karim Alidina
As we begin 2021, we’ve heard so many friends and colleagues celebrate that 2020 is over. It was a difficult year, no doubt about it, and for many of us it has tested our collective resilience more than any year in recent memory. Despite this difficulty, though, we were as a society inspired to find incredibly innovative solutions to the various problems we were presented with. Whole industries moved to more flexible ways of working – from home, via video-chat, and with our kids or pets wreaking havoc in the background. We developed new methods for getting our groceries and food deliveries with minimal contact, seriously increased our capabilities to deliver tele-healthcare, and found ways to remain connected to our friends and families despite not being able to see each other physically.
This innovation, this resilience, this creativity was only possible because we relied on each other’s experiences and ideas to inform our own. By synthesizing the best of what we all came up with individually and shared, we were able to create better solutions to better our lives. This is the essence of what inclusion brings – by being generous with each other, and leveraging our diverse talents and understandings of the world we were able to find effective ways to get through, and sometimes even thrive, during this incredibly difficult time.
2021 won’t see sudden improvements. A new COVID-19 strain still threatens, we’re still a long way from solving the problems that Black Lives Matter has been protesting, and the effects of Brexit are still to fully play out. Even now, we’re thinking about the massive disparities in how the US Capitol building was guarded for Black protestors against racism versus how it was guarded last night against a mob of Trump supporters trying to violently overthrow an election. There’s still a lot to process about last night’s events, and even more to do to ensure mobs like those aren’t encouraged further.
But, if we are to thrive in 2021, we need to build on the collective generosity and inclusion that was a promising impact from 2020. If we can do that, 2021 may bring us into a much more inclusive world.
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