What Survives Christmas 2020?

Looking back at how many blog posts I write this year – versus last year – yes a super low threshold number – however, 2020 has been a heck of a year, eh?

There are definitely a few take-aways that many probably will let slip by. There a few characteristics I have seen that have separated individuals from being caught up in a blur of a year (easy to do) to making the year something memorable despite the heartache.

Ownership. In hearing the very specific story about the Purdue family being held for 8 million dollars liable – yet stating they didn’t realize in looking at this current scenario what they could have done different. I can offer some insight into that.

1, Hold weekly meetings with local, national, and international medical experts to

discuss possible concerns about addiction and the risk of addiction, and finding

alternative solutions and funding to help reroute this potential problem.

2 Meet with families that represent a portion of growing individuals needing

medication and look for patterns of problems that are tied to the issuance of


3. Pay attention to the NIH, CDC, health journals and research the news-worthy

articles about drug addictions concerns.

There are many more suggestions and PLENTY of room where – while many could say, that is not MY job to do so, well dear millionaire from prescriptions and Pharmacy sales, at SOME point the public will see that your priorities for those around you versus your own self interests will hit the light and where your values lie.

This is one isolated case of how , during a pandemic or any time, one can choose to be as selfish as is humanly possible (this is alot) and never think about those that make up this world. Alot of of us COULD and do say, THAT IS NOT MY JOB – (you think we hear that as educators much?) – however, if a handful of us, shrug that reality off and do indeed take on something that is not really our responsibility, and give something that is not expected – things change in the very face of naysayers and those that refuse to see anything but the negative and refuse to take any positive action.

The most memorable person, group or society is that one that leads by positive example, and that example in embracing others, and supporting others’ needs while fulfilling your own. It will drive you forward instead of keeping you stuck in a cesspool of selfish desires and no concerns for anyone else.

Walking through stores and seeing so many plastic – PLASTIC cheap gifts/ toys, cheap, overpriced and so many people simply buying a toy or item to simply fulfill a quota of gifts, it is so easy to simply look at this holiday as just another carried out holiday. There is a superficial element to the holiday that is anywhere you want to find it. Finding and carving out your own niche to escape from that particular side of the holiday, and giving something to someone unexpected, starting a new tradition, and building an event to make it meaningful to another – that is your escape route.

Yet, I have been lucky to see individuals, from, athletes, to students, to faculty and more, take their worst possible day and put their head down, force themselves through the very motions that others can’t or won’t do, and come back faster, smoother, and more successful than they were ever before. That is my tribe – the strongest, bravest, and most creative individuals that leave the complainers, the hypocrites, the lazy, the selfish simply – behind.

The year 2020 has had some of the GREATEST night skies ever when I was walking my dogs at all hours of the night. There are so many unspoken and unrecognized gifts 2020 has given, many have not yet recognized. Many gifts simply exist if we choose to look for them. Alot in nature, and more in how to choose to shrug off the ugliness so many are willing to provide so freely.

Political, defiant, more concerned with arguing than doing things that will make positive change, walk away from these people. Do not waste any words or time in that arena when you can be doing things that will change negatives to positive, it’s worth your time way more.

Bad and challenging days will come, how you handle them will make all the different in the world. Let’s take Wriggley –

Yesterday- 11:30 AM vet visit for getting some staples out of Wriggley’s paw that he refuses to leave alone after a scuffle with others over food – fine, we do the cone of shame. Getting him to the vet – he comes out, he has a second area of concern – back on with the cone of shame – halfway to Rehoboth Beach I notice the canine has managed to lose his cone – by putting his head out and pulling the cone of ad voila! GONERS! LOL – on the way back, taking the same route, no sign ANYWHERE – stop as a Petsmart, purchase a new one. 1 third of the way home, Wriggley strikes again, pushes head though and pulls hard enough on window, poof out the window! – Turn back, rescue the less than 2 hours old cone from the middle of the road, cracked majorly along the side. Hit the local Pet Smart (second time!) new cone, windows closed, dogs hate it, arrive home, third cone still on him and intact – supporting Petsmart alot yesterday 🙂 Certainly at times taking 5 steps back for every step forward EVEN WITH being at the beach with the hounds…

The above, while seemingly unbelievable after the first time, and imagine the second time… makes me feel the exact same way being an educator, being in a highly divisive political and social country and year, and YET – pushing every single negative that comes your way aside and making a positive- NO MATTER WHAT- that is the game changer.

Seeing students, athletes, parents, colleagues, family, friends, and more – defying the odds – motivated on their worst days and turning it around – it gives them hope- it gives me hope. 2020 has MUCH negative that will stick in alot of peoples minds, but thanks to those that believed in the positive over the ugly narrative, we were able to complete tech delivered to needy students, create over 20+ memorial trees in memory of those we lost AND have some amazing plaques and tech tied to let people know from future generations what those individuals did, acquire double the technology to reach student’s creativity and make our school library one of the most ultimate maker and learning spaces, rise from next to last in the state to 12th in the state at the Cross Country state meet- and I could go on, and on and on, and it sounds like bragging, right?

Good, because that bragging is showing how some individuals will have so many bright spots in 2020 amid so much ugliness, they chose this route, while others were completely consumed by the ugliness and never had another to help them even retain one shred of a memory they are proud of. It should not be that that and doesn’t have to be.

It is your decision to decide what will be a best day for others and for yourself and separate yourself from how others mistreat others verbally, physically, mentally, socially, and being the individual that can turn it around for yourself and for others. There is so much negativity and putting down of others from leaders in our world, and wow, I have noticed how liberated, and much more influential people are that do the opposite, and make the change they want to see in the world, by not arguing, not sitting out the couch and bad mouthing, but by DOING. So yes, one could say the year 2020 was a year to remember, but hopefully, everyone walks away with seeing how good things can be by ignoring the naysayers, the mean, the ugly in heart, and being doers and changing the paradigm that some people simply are okay with being used to.

Christmas Eve and Christmas 2020 is about turning your back on the naysayers, and reaching to those willing to show the positives that are all around us, day in, day out, no matter what happens around us, but making use of opportunities people did not even realize were there. I love individuals that do the same, and are capable of resisting so much selfishness and ugliness in the world, they are the real leaders that will take us to a better tomorrow!

About Harry Brake

Employee of Woodbridge High School, Library Media Specialist, Media crazy! :)
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