What the heck happened in the last three months? Does anyone actually know?
Kobe died. A pandemic. Possible murder hornets. Civil unrest.
Personally, my life has been strange since August. In fact, in the last year, I haven't lived in one place for more than three months. I studied at two different campuses in South Africa, moved back back home, went back to school in LA, then moved back home when school was shut down.
But in the midst of constantly moving around, I have witnessed the most amazing things.
I've already written about South Africa (you can read about it here), and it's still impacting how I approach community work and the way I do church.
While I was never a Laker fan (go Kings), being in LA when Kobe died was eye-opening. I never realized how much impact an athlete can have on their community. I saw thousands of people come together to mourn the loss of their superstar.
Then the world shut down. I remember in late January, my friend Scott and I were hanging out on campus, making jokes about COVID-19. It was such a distant problem that most people haven't even heard of -- something that will never ever affect Americans. But soon enough, life came to a screeching halt. Classes were put online and everyone was going home early. I decided to stay on campus for the time being (mainly because my girlfriend would be home soon from South Africa, but to my parents it was for 'work.') I remember the second when Governor Newson put the state on lockdown. I was actually coming back home from a drive to the snow and had no cell-reception...some hip-hop radio station had broken the news to me.
My first reaction? I have to go get oreos from the grocery store before they run out.
But then things began settling in -- I had to pack up and move back home.
But in the midst of everything, I saw the goodness in humanity. While I was at the store buying my extremely important oreos, I witnessed people become unconsciously generous. I witnessed mom's helping each other get diapers and baby food. I watched overworked cashiers greet everyone with a comforting smile. While everyone felt rushed to support themselves and their family, I saw an underlying kindness between people. Yes people we scared, but we ALL were scared.
Church gets moved online. Climbing gyms closed. NASCAR and NBA seasons are suspended.
Then George Floyd. Civil unrest. Protests and riots.
As I reflect on the events our country has been through this year on a macro level, I see a pattern.
Every event that has happened has required and increasing level of community and trust in our neighbors.
Hurting fans come together to mourn the loss of their idol. Confused college students sat in their rooms together, reassuring each other that everything is going to be okay. Parents leaning on other parents for financial support. Medical professionals uniting together to defeat the invisible enemy. White people coming together in understanding and reflection; realizing that we have brothers and sister that are hurting because of us. People of different races are bonding in the name if social change and the fight for justice.
While 2020 has been unpredictable, scary, and life changing, we are being taught the value of human connection. The importance of love. The prominence of family.
Reflect on the last few months from a macro level. Do you see a pattern?
What do we do now? We change. We love each other. We bring back kindness.
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I typically ramble when I write. Read everything as a speech and it will probably sound better.