reflect to repair

Words & images By Sarah Cuartas

Most people can agree that when they wished each other a happy new year for 2020, they were expecting a smooth sailing start for a new decade. Maybe it was the year people were planning big changes for their life, definitely not the ones that we ended up getting.

Everyone has been challenged in a way this year. It has been an overwhelming time for everyone because out of nowhere we started to see the world around us changing in ways we never saw coming.

It has also been the year that has forced us to have important conversations and push each other to be involved and more aware of societal issues because to change the world, we all need to get involved. It is our job to be the leaders of the future by speaking up and getting involved in the challenging conversations that were ignored for so many years.

 This year has also allowed humanity to connect in a way it rarely does. At the end of the day we are going through the same things this year. We are all humans trying to get through life the best way we can. So, it is important that this year and from now on we adopt patience and empathy for each other and help others adjust to this new world.

One of the greatest things we can do during any challenging time is to talk to each other. We all  want to be heard and to be able to relate to someone else. In our busy, fast moving world, it is easy to miss out on the opportunity to have genuine, deep and meaningful conversations with each other. It is hard to be vulnerable and open up with people, so we all have feelings and thoughts we don’t get to express.

We have to remember that we are all beings rich with emotions, thoughts, dreams and questions. At the end of the day, no matter how different we are from each other, we all want to be loved, cared for and to find happiness and peace. This year has really forced us to remember that we need to look out for each other and to think of more than just ourselves.

We have also begun to be grateful for the little things that make us human and to appreciate the small moments that are generally overlooked within the everyday busy schedule. One of those things is to take the time to have conversations with those around you. Therefore, I invite you to get involved in conversations and reflect on your own experiences this year.

Here are some of the things some people in different stages of their life had to say about this year when I started my own conversation.

Questions and Answers

How have you coped with the challenges of 2020?

“I exercised, made lists like to do lists of what I want to get done that day or week, and so on.” (15 year old)

“I started doing yoga […] also going running helped me get my mind off stuff and to take care of myself. I have liked the fact I have been able to learn a lot like learn to value stuff.” (26 year old)

“Relax, sit at home and have a nice barbecue, watch the birds, feed them which is relaxing, sit down with my wife outside and talk.” (60 year old)

What have you learnt  this year?

“To be more independent, to do things on my own and not to put all my hope into one thing in case it doesn’t work out.” (15 year old)

“This year I have learnt to explore what I like, what I want for my future and I have learnt to be independent. I feel like I have grown more as a person. And I feel like I have learnt from myself.” (26 year old)

“To be more relaxed, maybe to be more patient and to love more.” (60 year old)

As you can see, each individual, no matter what stage in life they are in, had something reflective to say about themselves. Everyone, no matter their age, job, income, nationality, and so on has learned something this year.

We have to help people feel seen and allow them to express themselves because this year has confirmed how adaptable, strong and capable humans are when we come together.

Sarah cuartas