There is still some good

Finding hope in a horrible time

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Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay

There’s always a bright side, sometimes we just have to look a little harder for it.

Maia Barnhart, Opinion Editor

This has been a difficult year. I’d like to think it has been the worst I’ll ever live through, but I’ve learned to expect the unexpected. It has been a hopeless, lonely, painful year in which hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost to a global pandemic. A year in which those of us unlucky enough to be trapped on American soil have lived through a brutal election that has divided the nation and made memes about a second Civil War less “funny ha-ha” and more “funny hahahaaaaAAAAHHHHHHHH.” A year in which the president was impeached but remained in office, George Floyd and dozens of other African American citizens were shot and killed by police, Australia was on fire, California still IS on fire, and in which WWIII seemed imminent. This has been a difficult year. 

However, even amidst all the darkness, there have been some truly beautiful moments. 

Even though there is a global pandemic forcing us to remain apart from our friends and families, humanity has gotten incredibly creative when finding ways to stay connected. Zoom exploded onto the scene early this year, becoming the main channel of communication between not only students and educators but also for separately quarantined friends and families. We all got to bond over the insanity that was Tiger King. Even the few of us who didn’t watch the show (I just don’t WANT to, God) were pulled into the hype. Sweatpants became appropriate work attire. Shelters were left empty for the first time in years as we, en masse, decided it was finally time for us to become pet parents. Those with human children also realized just how difficult a job educators have as they were forced into attempting to homeschool their children. We turned to artists, and they rose to the challenge – so many new songs, albums, movies, and other artworks were produced and released to keep us entertained through the worst of the isolated hours. Drive-in movies made a comeback, bringing along with them new things like drive-in concerts and even drive-in raves. People got creative, finding ways to bond and share experiences.

Politically, people remained passionate. Volunteerism this election season was incredibly high, even though many of the volunteers had to get much more creative than usual due to social distancing guidelines. My experience voting in person yesterday was the safest it could have possibly been due solely to the diligent work of Houghton’s wonderful volunteers. Food trucks were sent to many polling places, offering their products free of charge for those stuck waiting in line. Prior to November 3rd, there had been almost as many votes cast by mail-in ballot or early voting as there had been in total for the last election, and that wasn’t even counting votes from the day of the election. People rallied, protested, debated, and really cared about issues. No matter which side of the issues they fell on, they remained involved and stayed invested. 

A side note: on the topic of politics, I have a piece of advice. Many of my friends and fellow students are dreading the upcoming holiday. Some have to decide whether or not to return home and risk exposing their loved ones to the germs they may have picked up on campus while others who are concerned about how they’re going to handle the political commentary of their families with grace. For those in the latter category, why not try getting a hand tattoo? It’s what I did, and I can guarantee that every single member of my family is going to be too caught up debating whether or not I’m having a breakdown to even consider mentioning politics. 

This has been a difficult year. No matter who you are, no matter where you live, no one has remained untouched. However, it’s important to take a moment every once in a while to remember the good that has come out of this nightmare, to remember that there is still so much the world and life has to offer.