As we more than happily kick the year 2020 to the curb, fervently hoping for a little better luck in ‘21, I wonder if we Americans will remember the lessons rather harshly learned.
Materialism doesn’t amount to much, does it, when the most coveted possession on the planet becomes a roll of toilet paper?
Gambling took on a whole new meaning when a sure win of 98 percent was weighed against the two percent possibility of sickness or the loss of a loved one.
Even certainties were swept aside when a national economic shutdown put homes, jobs, educations and far more in limbo.
Perhaps we all learned a little about ourselves, or perhaps you were one of the ones who simply huddled on the couch and bemoaned how tough it was to be paid to watch television for weeks or months at a time.
A whole lot of fear prompted hoarding and far, far worse.
So many confused rights with privileges as restrictions were put into place creating more fear, more concerns and not a small amount of dissension.
Driving and other travel methods are privileges that can be revoked.
Freedom of religion is a right guaranteed by the First Amendment.
Deciding what you will or will not wear? That’s a privilege.
The press? Guaranteed.
A full belly? Privilege.
Jobs and homes? Privileges.
Owning weaponry is a right, but is actually a whole lot fuzzier than most folks realize, because of that whole line about militias.
When hospitals, nursing homes and retirement communities shut their doors, lots of us learned the importance of spending time with our elders – some making the effort to stand at windows each day.
Sadly, some of our elders learned just how little effort would be made.
Some took their crafty skills and started creating safety masks by the dozen.
Some simply looked for ways to make a buck; income that was a godsend in an otherwise financially strained household.
Some tried to raise the town’s spirits. Others rallied to the cause.
None of us, I believe, look at the world the same way we did just one short year ago.
Hopefully, some of the lessons learned will stick. Hopefully.
Unfortunately, some will go back to insisting their top concern in life is who wins some cheesy television reality show, finding the perfect fashion accessory or the latest hunting items.
Guess we will all see by 2022.
– Shannon Crabtree is editor & publisher of the El Campo Leader-News.