Saying goodbye to 2020. What do we do with these experiences?
I have run out of adjectives and superlatives to describe the swift, profound, and unrelenting impact of a global pandemic, followed by the catalytic and tragic death of a Black man in south Minneapolis that has now become the touchstone for discussions on racial equality and social justice.
We have all processed the events of 2020 in Minneapolis and around the world in different ways. We may have been impacted directly or indirectly and may not actually understand that full impact for years to come.
To make sure we do not waste the lessons from this year, let’s consider some questions as we reflect on what we will do with these collective and individual experiences of 2020.
What new coping skills have we acquired in 2020?
While we are hopeful that we will not have to experience events like we have in 2020, adversity is a constant in some form or another. When the next challenges occur, how will we deal with them? Will we avoid underestimating the gravity of the situation? Will we react and adapt more swiftly? Will we remember that there is always light at the end of the tunnel?
Are there new business practices that we employed as adaptations that will remain relevant moving forward?
For Meet Minneapolis, we have significantly increased our various communications to our partners. We have become even more reliant on research. Internally, we have worked hard to understand and address the needs of our team in a remote work environment. It would be worthwhile to document any new practices and formally evaluate them for their ongoing relevance.
Are there new or enhanced relationships we have established that have enriched our lives?
In our professional and personal lives, we have likely discovered our interdependence with existing and new friends and colleagues. It could be recommendations for streaming services or virtual meeting technology. It may be joining forces to advocate for emergency resources. One thing I have learned from speaking to my peers is that, as widely different as the details of our respective destinations may be, there are so many more commonalities in our struggles than I realized. These relationships have been strengthened over the past few months, and I am sure that they will continue to grow into the future.
Our challenges will not magically go away as we turn the calendar to 2021. There will always be unanticipated personal and professional challenges. And our industry’s devastation has been front and center throughout the time of the pandemic.
This is certainly not our preferred way to increase awareness about our value to the community, but we must build on this new level of understanding.
I wish you a safe and healthy rest of your holiday season and hope that you will be refreshed and renewed as we burst into 2021.
Thank you for your friendship and your support.