For the last two years, I’ve been going into New Years Day with a “Theme” of sorts, back when I did my first Lifeis+ campaign, I released a bunch of photos in a big project and among those photos were the first four laws that I try to live my life by. They’ve changed and tweaked themselves over the years, but have more or less remained functionally the same. They are the core values that I set my days upon. Seeking Wisdom, Seeking Intelligence, Seeking Strength, and Seeking Companionship.
The way I see it if I can spend every day looking for those four things, and ways to be better at them, I’ve got a good foundation in my life. If I can do it all while maintaining a solid, unbreakable love, then I will be right where I want to be. Last year was The Year of the Stag, and the Stag’s Ideal is to Question Every Leaf. I had planned a bunch of content that I never released because I realized that at that time, I needed to Seek Wisdom far more than I needed to share it. These seasons come and go, and 2020 is no different. Sooner or later, the virus will be gone, the current tide of racial tension will be once more placated until something else happens and puts it in front of the viewers, and the world will hope to forget what happened in 2020.
The Year of the Stag, for me, was filled with trepidation, anger, unrest, and fear. I entered 2020 a bright-eyed young man, engaged to my now wife and hopeful of the future. By my birthday, the world decided to set the tone for 2020 and it did not relent. I do think the quarantine was the root cause of much of the issue, and I think those who outright refused to participate were a problem too, but I think there is more to the story than that. Last year we saw collectively, a potential war come close to breaking out. We watched as what could have been genetically engineered killer hornets just… vanish. We saw irreplaceable lives snuffed under the guise of a Machiavellian-like display of power. We watched as the fringes of our safe reality wore away just a bit more, and let us peek at the beast beneath us all. We saw first hand, on multiple occurrences, the existence of lizard people. Not how we imagined them, living beneath the crust of the earth in super-society, but rather right here with us. Controlling the flow of information, exploiting political power, and robbing those in need of stimulus money in a desperate plea to remain in control. If aliens had shown up yesterday, trust me I wouldn’t have been surprised.
Still, 2020 carried with it some amount of beauty. It was wretched on the surface, but there were glimmers of hope between the chaos. Between the riots, protests, civil unrest, and what felt like a never ending cycle of misinformation vomited down from the mainstream media corporations, I saw people who had done well. Who donated their stimulus to food banks, who bought clothing and toys for people who otherwise couldn’t afford it. I saw men and women I’d grown to assume would lie passively through the year reach out and help others in ways I hadn’t thought of. I saw good in 2020, despite the year and the chaos that it wrought upon us.
I can see good in 2021, too.
It won’t come easily, I know that much. If we don’t get up and make it better ourselves, it will never be better. If we continue into 2021 with the same biases and fears that we allowed ourselves to develop in 2020, this year will likely be no different. The calendar year means nothing in the grand scope of what happened. A pandemic could break out at any time. Politicians have been robbing us and lying to us for centuries. Ultimate overreach for power has been a stain on society for as long as we have recorded history and yet, what made 2020 wasn’t any of those things. It was us. We are the roots of the nation and we allowed ourselves to be overcome. I don’t mean that as a slight against anyone, I was going through it with you all. Despondent and fearful of the future were year-long personality traits for me. I became for a while, a prisoner of my mind.
See, 2020 was ruled by fear and loathing. Everything about the year it seemed had to revolve around what makes us afraid. A global pandemic, fear that Trump would win or lose, civil unrest in the streets, the repeated unlawful killing of black men and women publicized en masse. It spiraled the drain and created a cocktail of everything we could have feared. That fear turned to anger, and eventually to hate.
But 2021 will be the same, regardless of what events are held within if we refuse to acknowledge that we are what has to change. Each of us, individually, has to be better. We will never see a year in which evil people will be gone from our world, so we should do whatever we can to beat them.
This year, do not be afraid.
Be the opposite.
If you enjoyed today’s piece it would help so much if you could share it on whatever social media you prefer, or, if you want to earn bonus points what I need you to do is take the post, save it as a PDF, print it out at a local Office Max or Kinkos or Walmart, and then buy a stapler, a brand new one will do just fine. You can get the generic brand if you need to. Then, after you’ve done that I need you to buy day passes to your local zoo for you and your friends or family and take the day and go find your favorite animals, lions or bears or wolves or manatees or colorful birds and I want you to take the printed out copy of the blog post and just staple it to the animal’s enclosure in a clear and conspicuous place so that they (and hopefully the zookeepers) can read it and after you’ve done that take some time off and enjoy a nice evening with the friends/family. It’s on the house.
Thank you for stopping by and sharing your time with me. If you’d like to see more, or if you want to reach out you can find me through my social media links below! I’d love to hear from you.
New content comes out every other Friday and sometimes other Fridays and sometimes Wednesdays.