If 2020 was a dance party

Some thoughts about 2020 and the social and emotional challenges we face.

Fireworks explode over New York with their reflections dancing over the water. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Confetti flew, we toasted our loved ones, and we wished each other success going into 2020!

New year’s resolutions were made, vacations to exotic destinations were booked, and our business goals and projections for the year were all stated in countless spreadsheets and project management tools. Optimisn was high, looking forward to the opportunities and doors that would open up in the new year. 

Suddenly, everything came to a grinding halt, as if the DJ pulled the needle off the turntable. Three months into 2020, the music stopped and we were all asked to walk back to our tables, being sure to keep six feet apart and seated. The room grew silent. 

So we kept waiting – and waiting, hoping that the music would come back on. People began tapping their feet while sitting down to the recollection of their favorite songs in their minds in hopes of not losing the rhythm, thinking that this was a brief break to cool-off and catch a breath. 

The security stopped tapping their feet. They came around asking for identification and harassing people. Not everyone though. They were looking at the colour of their skin, as if some did not belong in the dance. Tension escalated and the temperature in the room felt like an August afternoon in Death Valley. 

Sweat was coming down peoples faces and some felt uncomfortable, not sure how to react to what was happening in front of their eyes. What should I do? How will I look if I say something? Will this impact how others treat me? Can my actions really make a difference here? Do I understand enough about the situation to do something about it? More questions than answers, but people knew what was happening was not right.

People were tired of sitting down and watching people in their communities being mistreated. Bystanders began speaking up for those who felt like their voices were being muted, like the music in the room. Then slowly the security began easing off, realizing that a majority of the room was uniting to amplify the message.

As tensions cooled, the attention shifted back to the DJ. Slowly, the music started playing again, but this time the volume was low. On the mic, the DJ warned people to proceed to the dance floor but not to let their hopes get too high, since there might be further interruptions as he works to reboot the music system in the room. Some people chose to move to the dance floor, while others wanted to wait it out until the music returned to normal. 

Who knows how long this interruption will last as our patience is tested. If the music does not come back on fully, will we find ways to adapt?

Maybe we change our style of dance, but let’s choose to keep our feet moving.

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