As the new year approaches and 2020 comes to a close, we reflect on all this year taught us — through its unexpectedness, its suffering and its joy.
The omnipresent story line from March to year’s end was the COVID-19 pandemic. From hoarding toilet paper to social distancing and wearing masks, how we reacted — and how we’ve persevered — was unlike anything we’ve ever seen.
Piercing the pandemic was the cry for social justice and the fight for equality. In March, discussions swirled around BYU’s Honor Code and LGBTQ students; in the summer, millions of Americans marched for racial equity under the banner of Black Lives Matter.
Then came a momentous autumn, and political themes began to take front seat. Cancel culture, the Supreme Court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett and false narratives of an election playing to the heart and soul of Americans churned conversations around the country.
In 2020, we lost many friends and neighbors. Some 300,000 Americans were taken by COVID-19; others, like business icon Clayton Christensen, spiritual leader Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks and Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, also died too soon.
Out of the sorrow and suffering of 2020, the words of writers, thought leaders and community figures brought us perspective hope. To us, they defined 2020.