What Did You Learn in 2020?

Source: NationalPriorities.org Tradeoffs

Some of the things I learned in 2020 were useful and probably will remain so going forward. For example, how to produce videos (and plan for the time suck known as post-production). Others were interesting and useful at the time, but it’s unclear how they’ll apply to this Boomer’s future life. For example, how to win at British parliamentary style debate.

Some things I already knew but received much more evidence for in 2020:

A team of people collaborating with a common goal can accomplish more than any given individual can accomplish.

Distrust for authority will influence people to act against their own (and society’s) best interests when it comes to public health.

Pranksters were busy in 2020. Here are designs allegedly for Space Force which turned out to be a hoax (the Nazi-like uniforms, not the Space Force).

All space programs are fundamentally military programs.

Screenshots from Google News on the final day of December, 2020.

The ginning up of support for space programs both public and private is covert militarization of public sentiment. And probably a military recruiting tool as well.

The ginning up of support for nuclear power is also being done with military applications in mind.

Information conveyed by corporate-controlled organizations, including National “Public” Radio, manufactures consent for continued militarism and promotes ignorance about the forces driving our global climate emergency.

The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. And government in the U.S. exists to make sure of it.

False dichotomy and the personification of everything are still the leading errors in thinking used to control the masses. My run for elected office was an attempt to use one to combat the other. Jury is still out on whether this can be done, and whether or not it is a beneficial approach.

Things I did not learn in 2020 but hope to make some progress on in the new year:

How to be most effective as an information worker in a corporatized, capitalized world that rapaciously consumes nature including humans. For example, is my time and energy working for an anti-racist transformation best spent lifting up marginalized voices, working to organize white supremacist-leaning working class, a combination of both, or something else altogether?

How to make my actions as effective as possible in realizing the better world that I know is possible. I’ve tried protesting, marching, rallying, civil resistance, speaking, writing for mainstream publications, blogging, meeting with elected officials, petitioning, social media posting, street theater, and door knocking. Also running for elected office, also lobbying at the state level and the federal level. I’ve joined some organizations and helped start others. Also spent some decades teaching for critical thinking which I have National Board Certification in.

Link to buy the book here.

While I ponder all this I’ll be promoting my first published book, something I need to learn how to do.

I will also will be facilitating education for a small pod at the preschool level. I could claim I’m doing that because I know for a fact that empowering young learners makes a positive difference in the world. But the truth is, I’m following my bliss.

And, while pondering, I’ll take on a local project to improve the community I’m temporarily living in. One I can do safely while observing covid protocols in a state that is telling people EMTs will no longer be able to send cardiac arrest patients to hospitals because California hospitals are maxed out on ICU beds for covid patients.

Something I’ve spent the end of 2020 doing is taking time to process my grief over the pandemic and its harms. 

I was so busy when it hit that I, of necessity, made accommodations for it but powered onward through my busy, busy days with taking time to grieve. 

Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer “For health-care workers during COVID-19, the burnout is real, and it’s getting worse” Dec. 1, 2020  photo by Heather Khalifa

I’ll grieve for all the families who’ve lost someone. Grieve for all the health care workers strained to their breaking point. Grieve the greed that has killed millions forced to work in unsafe conditions without health care or sick leave from their jobs.

2020 has been so difficult that people have yearned for a new year to begin. 

I hope we don’t find a future so harsh that we look back on 2020 as the good old days.