Opinion Piece by Brittany Booth

2020 will undoubtedly be a year for the history books. It was a year so full of big events that I found myself forgetting the little things like what I did last weekend, or what I ate the night before. It was an endless barrage of breaking news on repeat–a never ending escalation of worst-case-scenarios. When so many shocking things happened at once, were they really so shocking anymore?

As I reflect on this year I am not only thinking about all the things that happened, but how people reacted.

The global COVID-19 pandemic led to over a million deaths worldwide, yet confusion and misinformation caused some people to be selfish; putting personal freedoms over the health and safety of their neighbors. Others followed blindly in hopes of doing everything they could to protect the most vulnerable, yet they treated those who resisted as less than human.

Just when we thought America couldn’t be any more divided, it was.

In an age of social media that allows video to spread like wildfire (not to be confused with the actual wildfires that also wreaked havoc in 2020), a man’s death at the hands of police officers was put on display for all to see. Our country experienced extremely high racial tensions and possibly the most widespread and intense protests since the civil rights movement in the 50’s and 60’s. Some people fought for justice and equity for future generations, while others took advantage for personal gain. Some were willing to have meaningful dialogue, while others cut off friends and family who disagreed.

And just when we thought America couldn’t be any more divided, it was.

Then came “the most important election in history,” which ended up being the most disunified and contested presidential election in history. A record number of people showed up to exercise their right to vote, while at the same time some were looked down upon based on who they voted for, or if they didn’t vote at all. On this decision alone, character and value as a human was being unrightly judged.

When the poll counts came in, it confirmed what we already knew: America was indeed severely divided.

These massive events will go down in American history, but what won’t be written in the books is just as important as the events themselves: how you and I treated one another.

Now that 2020 is almost over, can we say we valued ALL human life? Did we treat those that disagreed with us with respect? In a year that gave us the worst, did it bring out the best in us?

For those that bear the name of Christ, I urge you to “walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” – Ephesians 4:1-3.

The views in this article do not necessarily represent specific individuals of Mauck & Baker or the firm of Mauck & Baker as a whole