Don’t Pick on 2020

We, as Americans, tend to be a bit pessimistic. Perhaps it’s the way our media operates or maybe it’s just the way we are but we are definitely a ‘glass half empty’ society. Granted, there’s not a lot to like about this past year. Wildfires, Kobe, pandemics and politics have had an adverse effect on all of us … so I get it, #2020sucks is trending.

But in reality perhaps this year wasn’t as bad as you might think and before you read on please know that this point is going to require a great deal of open mindedness from you, the reader.

To see 2020 as a positive you’ll need to change your perspective. This past year was seemingly the worst year ever and yet perhaps only because we choose to look at it that way. Me? I’m going to leave 2020 with a healthy appreciation for what it’s taught us.

One, we should never take for granted the time we are able to spend with others. I miss socializing freely. I miss my family, friends and meeting new people. I miss concerts, games and other events where we could all gather and appreciate someone else’s performance. I will never forget this past year and what it afforded me … a new, deeper appreciation for experiences I was blessed to have in years prior and hope to have in the years to come.

Two, someone I once knew once said “sometimes things need to get worse before they get better…” At the time I didn’t pay too much attention to what I considered a relatively trivial statement but when I apply it to 2020, it gives me an entirely different perspective on this past year. Real steps are being taken to recognize diversity as a significant strength for our country. As usual, this took some difficult steps for us to get there. But again, with the right perspective, you see these difficulties for the positives that will ultimately result from them.

Three, and here’s where we get back to business … 2020 derailed a time of unprecedented prosperity for our country. Early in the year, income for Americans was at an all time high, economic indicators were reflecting a healthy economy and things like unemployment were the lowest it’s been in decades. Whereas these conditions were positive, the negative byproduct of prosperity includes inefficient or unethical business practices, lackluster vendors, nonsensical pricing and marginal customer service.

And here we go again where it takes me seven frickin’ paragraphs to get to my point: 2020 required the businesses community to adapt, improve and strengthen themselves. Ultimately, this will lead to a stronger business community moving forward.

So yes, it was a difficult year, but just like generations before us who faced adversity, we too can persevere and do so with a healthy appreciation for what challenges afford us: the opportunity to be better.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Ed Olsen is the president/owner of ReThinc Advertising and Public Relations. He has lots of opinions on all things marketing. To read more of them, click here.