A Story of Humility and Inclusion

2020 was a tidal wave of emotions for everyone. Our country started the year with big expectations and hopes for a better year. We had been through a lot as a country in 2019, and there was a prevailing thought that 2020, the year that is synonymous with clarity of vision, would be emblematic of that especially with a Presidential election scheduled in November. That all changed with the onset and evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic. On a personal level, I experienced some range of emotions. I returned from a deployment to Afghanistan at the end of 2019, and was looking forward to reconnecting with my wife, family, and friends throughout the year. I also started a new job at the very beginning of 2020, which was a pleasant development, but little did I or anyone know how much the dynamic of the year would change.

If I had to reflect and summarize the year for me, it would be a year of humility. I certainly appreciated having a new job and a new outlook on life, but as the year progressed, with the pandemic disrupting lives, followed the racial unrest as a result of George Floyd's death in May 2020, it became very apparent than an overriding theme across our society is one of inequity. Many people have lived a charmed existence in the United States for years, decades, generations, while others have not. Often, this divide was centered around race and socioeconomic status. The COVID-19 pandemic has provided a dissection of these inequities in ways that are still being examined to this day. I, being a white man from a middle class background who grew up in an existence of relative comfort and privilege, became more aware and conscious of this fact in 2020. As a result, I have made a forthright effort to be reflective and mindful of this in any interactions and decisions going forward in my life, to live out a more fuller, just, inclusive philosophy towards and with others in our country. I encourage others to do the same in the same spirit of humility and inclusiveness.