“New year, new you.” Many of us embrace this philosophy each December 31. On January 6, the promise of a brighter new year ahead became ever harder to see.
But as we push forward into 2021, it is as important as ever to take what we’ve learned since 2020 began, and to break away from what is best left in the past.
Shifting Our Energy
For many months, we’ve lived in a near-constant frenzy to “get it all done” amid so much personal and collective stress and tragedy. These aren’t problems many people in our communities can just leave behind in 2020. Before we had ever heard of this pandemic, we were plagued by racism and inequity. These are long-standing issues that will continue if we don’t fight.
So, we will fight.
The New Year reset will provide us new opportunity to safely come together, to support each other face-to-face, and to unite for the action we most want to see. Yes, we did this in the form of powerful protests and demonstrations throughout 2020. But, the conditions of the pandemic kept us from doing even more. In 2020, we’ve had to spend too much time isolating and waiting. Our aim for 2021, once it’s safe, must be to shift our energy toward uniting for change.
Resetting Our Habits
Maybe you’ve learned to take a few moments of calmness each day, picked up a YouTube tutorial on baking homemade bread, or spent more time connecting with your family. But not every habit is a keeper. How many of us are only thoughtful about the top half of our clothing since the lower part of our outfit is invisible to Zoom?
For those of us who have been working or learning remotely, there are plenty of changes that are temporary. It’s time for a New Year reset in 2021, and thinking about what pants we’re wearing is one of many small shifts we’ll make as we get together again. Moving forward with positive energy and channeling that into our habits will serve us all in the year to come.
All of us – teachers, students, families – are ready for a new day. During our recent all staff meeting, our president and next CEO Richard Buery, Jr. shared a quote about why that’s especially important:
“Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.” –Arundhati Roy
We look forward to that walk, and we welcome 2021 and all that we will work through together.