2020: Voices

Is this the worst year the world has experienced since the Spanish Flu epidemic? Or since the combined years of WW1? Or since the combined years of WW2? Korea? Vietnam? Eritrea? Sudan? Zimbabwe? The 1990s Balkan wars? ISIS? And I could go on and on reciting devastating appalling “local” conflicts for hours.

Is this the worst year since HIV-AIDS manifested itself? Or SARS? Or Ebola?

Singly each of those wars/epidemics, has been appalling.

However (taking a deep breath), 2020 is, possibly in the modern era, the worst single year since all those catastrophes.

Not to mention mere asides like political corruption …

Can we reflect on what’s happened? Can we learn lessons? Can we move forward? Can we still have hope?

My answer:


We are grandparents, parents, children, spouses, siblings. We care for our friends. We have non-human animals for whom we care deeply. We care for our fauna, our flora, our environment, for everything that allows to exist on this extremely thin skin of the ecosphere.

We care for truth, for honesty, for trust, and for mutual respect – not just for our cultures, or our own species – but for everything that lives on and enables life on Earth.

Yesterday afternoon I listened to the first global broadcast of Max Richter’s decade-in-the-making composition Voices – essentially a musical representation of the UN’s Declaration of Human Rights. I found it incredibly moving.

If you don’t have time for/want to listen to it, may I recommend its precursor: Mercy.

Because I think that’s what we all need now.

Unto us a child is born.

Please let that be a child of, and with, hope.