Well, here we are, finally at the end of 2020. Was it worse than 2016? 2017? 2018 and 2019? Definitely. I could say it has been a steady decline and it is only going to get worse but I do not want to give up. Hope is a precious thing that many of us are lucky to have that still have it. Despair is an awful monster that can eat you alive along with the people around you. Even though this list is small, maybe it will help at least one person to remember that even the little things are worth being grateful for.
So with that, here are 5 good things that happened (or are still happening) this year:
1.) I live in a neighborhood where the financial gap is not just block to block, but house to house, which is why this act of kindness is so notable. Not many people that are well off are the most friendly around here and they mostly live up in the hills and make life a lot harder for the people that do not. If you are familiar with that app Nextdoor, I doubt I have to describe to you the usual neighborhood drama and unnecessary complaining that happens on there.
However, a few days ago a person in my nearby neighborhood posted that they had come in to a bit of money and wanted to ask if anyone in the neighborhood was struggling and needed help. There was indeed, someone nearby that was struggling and in need of financial assistance to help them and their family. Not only was one person helped, but this prompted other people in the neighborhood to post on that same thread that they also had money to spare if anyone needed help as well. Several families and people were just given money by people that would not normally give anything.
2.) There are several organizations in the Bay Area that do homeless camp outreach. These groups and individuals practice harm reduction and do supply runs for the people living in these camps. This issue is a huge problem and most of the city seems to want to ignore it rather than help. There needs to be more help but the fact that there are people out there helping with outreach, supplies, meals, medical treatment, handing out masks and gloves, the shower bus, clean up and trash pick up, and even COVID testing is very positive. It may be a small temporary bandage on a much larger wound, but it is needed.
3.) Everyone that actually did stay home and did not travel to see their family and expand their bubble: thank you. Essential workers have to work, but it is not in vain if people that are able to actually stay put. If you truly did make that effort, that is so very positive and helpful.
4.) That shitty orange, racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, mysoginist asswipe of a human is out of office. That is positive. ‘Nuff said.
5.) More personal and more selfishly, the best time I had in 2020 was at Paul Silver’s birthday show in March, right before we all sheltered in place. It was amazing how many friends were there. It was like Awesome Fest or something, but with only our nearest and dearest. The amount of love in that building and outside of it was beautiful. I felt it and I think all of us that were there felt it too. People that could not get into the show just came to hang out. There were so many hugs and high fives. It was the most positive thing right before so many devastating things occurred in all our lives. That show helped me hold on to hope. I hope that there will be many more shows like this in the near future once it is safe to do so. We are all overdue for some hugs.
So there you have it. It’s not the best list, but it is something. I do not want anyone to give up. I want to see you all thrive and do your thing while in your element. I want to see us help each other instead of fending only for yourself. Let’s lift each other up instead of pushing each other down.
Last thing I will say on this small internet soapbox I am barely balancing on is I love you. I have been trying to say “I love you” as much as possible this year because you never know when it will be the last time you say it. So hey, if you are reading this, I hope you are safe. I love you. Happy New Year.