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Is 2020 a dreadful 366 days or a massive awakening? Show more Show less
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From a worldwide pandemic to fires that destroyed almost a quarter of Australia to racial supremacism, maybe what 2020 holds isn't a dreadful 366 days, but an awakening that forces us to shed, release, and re-evaluate humanity. From the Cenozoic Era, when humans first appeared, to what is now known as Gen Z, the developments and evolution are- without a doubt- significant and momentous. Along with technology, humans have also changed how we live, eat, and feel over time. However, humanity has also managed to feel superior to other races and religions, form divides and oppression against their own kind, make a mercenary of an altruistic society, and grow increasingly self-centered and self-obsessed in just a couple thousand years. But finally, with this worldwide pandemic, we are granted a quiet and calm space that allows us to reflect and re-evaluate. We become self-aware and are conscious of how we act and how the people around us act. We are able to shift beyond self-actualization into a realm of self-transcendence. With the deadly fires that arose, we have come to realize and experience the horrible hell we have put our animals and environment through. With protests and petitions against racial supremacism, we are finally able to use media for a cause that helps and fights for humanity and justice. Perhaps, the purpose of 2020 is not to evoke fear and dread but to force you to open your eyes and ears to see and hear the chaos and mayhem that we created from a peaceful, harmonious human civilization. Perhaps, 2020 is The Golden Age of Transformation.

2020 is a massive awakening. Show more Show less

2020 has been a year filled with events that signal that we are undergoing a global transformation. This includes realising truths about how the world in which we live is governed, the disregard for and abuse of certain lives, and the greater responsibility we have to take care of our planet Earth.
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It opens our eyes and forces us to see how horrible and self-centered humanity has become.

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The Argument

2020 has given the world an identity crisis. In other words, in looking to just one event of 2020, the BLM movement and George Floyd's killing have managed to birth a phenomenon infinitely larger than itself. One that can only be regarded as a "Great Awakening" of empathy and solidarity— an occasion that only becomes more important when considering the lack of historical precedent.[1] Thus, through these aspects, we as humans are forced to analyze not only our own lives but the world around us. In doing this, "many more white Americans now accept that anti-black racism is a real and present danger. For large numbers of people, the idea that 'racism is over' is now itself over."[1] This is significant as more individuals will be outraged by racial injustice and will actively use their own privilege to seek a better society, even if they are not entirely sure on how to do that.[1] How could these events not have an impact on human trajectory? In looking at the development of the COVID-19 pandemic, such an event truly highlighted the unrelenting selfishness of many. Specifically, the unwillingness of individuals to wear medical masks that will assist in halting the spread of the virus. And this selfishness is not without consequences, rather this selfishness will lead to the end of humanity itself.[2] For example, "[p]rotestors in Michigan stormed Lansing with Trump banners, Confederate flags, the ubiquitous “Don’t Tread on Me” signs and guns, demanding their right to get sick and not listen to their Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer. In fact, demanding to 'lock her up.' 'It’s time for our state to be opened up,' said one female protestor in her car. 'We’re tired of not being able to buy the things that we need, go to the hairdressers. It’s time to open up.'"[2] Such a sentiment forces us to look deep within ourselves and analyze the way in which our morals fall. Such an exercise would not have been possible without the appearance of the COVID-19 pandemic. Frankly, sometimes it takes a disastrous event to truly look at the specifics.[2]

Counter arguments

Regarding racial violence and protests, 2020 is not the first year to experience such tension. The 1960s proved among the most violent when looking to American history and its connection to racial injustice. What makes the events of 2020 any more impactful?[3] Moreover, COVID-19 is hardly the world's first pandemic. The 1918 influenza pandemic was the most severe pandemic in recent history, so again, how could the effects of COVID-19 in 2020 prove different?[4] Although the idea that such events would open the eyes of humanity to selfishness and injustice is a beautiful one, this sentiment is simply false. Instead, in times of uncertainty and insecurity, individuals will become inherently more selfish in order to ensure their own preservation of self, both mentally and physically.[5] For example, when looking at the young people partying for spring break on the streets and beaches of Miami, it is clear that they hardly did any self-reflection. Otherwise, they would have been seriously phased by the intensity of COVID-19. They would not be using excuses centering around how only those who are old and frail are affected. Instead, they would take responsibility for their actions and how their participation in mass events could harm their own relatives— if not themselves. Furthermore, this event is not unique. Rather, similar acts of selfishness continue as individuals double down into themselves: Refusing to open their eyes to the world. In a way, such an act is almost protecting oneself. For if they were truly aware of the harm and injustice they committed, and how self-centered humanity had become, it would surely destroy them.[5]

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/12/opinions/great-awakening-empathy-solidarity-george-floyd-jones/index.html
  2. https://medium.com/the-national-discussion/covid-19-pandemic-reveals-the-epidemic-of-selfishness-a33db07466a8
  3. https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/civil-rights-movement
  4. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/1918-commemoration/1918-pandemic-history.htm
  5. https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-what-makes-some-people-act-selfishly-while-others-are-more-responsible-134341

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This page was last edited on Sunday, 19 Jul 2020 at 00:03 UTC