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The (slightly) bright side of 2020

Last updated 3 months ago by Michael Darmanin

Now, 2020 is past. But, it is the year that will be stamped in our brains and memories for years to come. The year that changed so much. Especially for those who lost their loved ones to the deadly virus; for people away from their families, in different cities, or countries, and not able to return; for those who lost their jobs and other financial means. The year that brought to the front the concerns that were usually hidden under the carpet. Basically, the year where a lot happened, for everyone.

I am not going to be preachy and say that it is going to be over, so let’s move on and make a fresh start. No, that is not going to happen. I won’t ask you to move on from this year. Nor will I ask you to make any kind of New Year resolutions for 2021. This year was and is different from the rest.

The pandemic changed our lives. And most likely we are going to remember 2020 for all the wrong reasons. No matter how much we try, this is how it is going to be. The year we had to wear masks everywhere, the year we could not go home for Christmas, when we could not travel, and the list goes on. It is true when they say that human beings tend to remember negative events more than positive ones.

Photo credit: Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

But then I thought, maybe there can be something positive about this year as well. Can we at least try to think about something? I thought and thought, and eventually came up with a few lessons that can be learned from this year. Instead of resolutions, I wish to enter 2021 with a few lessons, and probably you can do the same. And, hopefully, unlike resolutions, these will stay with us beyond January.

Plans may not work out

A lot of us planned so much for this year. Summer vacation in Ibiza, Christmas with family, or graduating in front of our loved ones. But the year had something else planned for us. Instead, we ended up crying over canceled flights, having virtual Christmas dinners, and graduating the same way. The lesson learned is let’s not plan life, it may not work out the way we want it to be. Maybe it is better to keep flowing with life and accept the changes as and when they come.

We are fighters, resilient souls

Most of us faced a lot of setbacks this year. But if I am writing this and you are reading, high chances are that we survived. With so much uncertainty about everything, there are moments we cried, screamed, and blamed someone or the universe for everything. However, what matters is that we survived. This shows how resilient we are. To me, honestly, it felt like doing a year-long mountaineering course, where everything is uncertain. This course taught me that the only option is to move forward, despite what the circumstances are. Lesson learned, we are fighters and resilient souls and we can conquer the mountains of our lives.

Photo credit: Oluwaseyi Johnson on Unsplash

Family matters

Not that we never valued them earlier, but this time it was different. We realized how important it is to spend time with families and take care of them. Not just that, sometimes loving your family just does not mean to be with them, but the pandemic taught us how sometimes it means to be away from them to keep them safe. Most of us also realized what spending time with family means in real life after we couldn’t go to offices anymore.

We know who are ‘our’ people

Now, this might sound a bit harsh, but this needs to be said. Pandemic or crisis is the time when we know who is there and who is not. The crisis became a time like the Titanic where everyone wanted to be in the safety boats, and not many bothered to give a hand to the ones who couldn’t reach. But there were a few who offered their own places to the ones who needed it more or took others by hands with them to safety. This year taught us who is actually going to be there when we are falling, and who will care more about their own safety.

Photo credit: Dustin Belt on Unsplash

Our physical and mental health matters

A lot of us never probably cared about eating healthy or quitting alcohol or smoking. This year brought us a bit closer to reality. That our physical health matters, and we need to take care of our bodies – improve immunity, eat healthily, and exercise. Furthermore, a lot of us didn’t pay attention to mental health earlier – our own and of loved ones. Everything appeared fine, as long as we had a friend, a family, and financial income. But the pandemic showed us there’s more to it. We understood what anxiety and stress can actually lead to. It is never late than never.

The world needs kindness

The whole world is like a drowning ship. Even if we survive, someone else will drown. The year is a lesson that we need to save each other. Extend our hand and help and be kind to others, as much as we can.

Mamta Banga
Mamta Banga
A writer by choice and a reader by heart, I'm a storyteller by nature. I've got a knack for reading fiction, but I enjoy the adrenaline of writing about facts and real-life experiences. I've recently graduated from the University of Amsterdam and now trying to make a mark in the creative industry. I've extensive experience in working with various media organizations previously, including Microsoft and Reuters, for more than a decade. I am a traveler at heart who doesn’t like to touch and tick the bucket list, rather breathe and explore different cities and cultures.


  1. Exceptional!👌 We all went through this realisations and you have put our thoughts into words….. Keep up the high spirits and continue to mesmerize us with your writings….

  2. Beautifully written.. 🤟🏾
    I love how you always find a way to look at everything with such positivity.. 💫


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