Finally, 2021 has arrived and 2020 has come to an end. However, 2020 has left “not with a bang, but with a whimper.”
The past year has brought about many daunting concerns. This is especially the case in the fields of ethics and axiology. Many of us have suffered this past year. The Covid-19 pandemic has either taken the lives of many individuals or crippled their well-being.
Nevertheless, in the midst of this paramount suffering we need to make sure we do not become ‘the hollow men’ and that our voices are not ‘quiet and meaningless’. More now than ever we need to return to philosophy and re-evaluate our ethical and axiological framework. We have to ask ourselves: what are our most valued concepts? Is it health? Is it safety? Is it freedom? All of the above?
With these questions in mind; we as a society, have to work together and make sure we learn and grow from the sufferings 2020 has brought us.
Our hopes should not be to return to pre-covid life. We must raise the bar for ourselves and shed some of our archaic ways of thought. We should seek to create a world that is much more ethically, medically, and economically sound. 2021 should be a year of promise. A year that not only rebuilds, but also improves our most vulnerable and valued systems. 2020 gave us the opportunity to examine the faults of our ethos. We cannot take this examination for granted.
Nonetheless, with this reconstruction we cannot forget that: “Between the idea and the reality, between the motion and the act, falls the shadow…Between the conception and the creation, between the emotion and the response, falls the shadow (T.S. Eliot, The Hollow Men).”
It is up to us, as a community, to make sure the dubious shadows of human nature do not creep in during this reconstruction. We need to ensure a rebuilding that is ethically sound and one that embraces what Lincoln called: ‘the better angels of our nature.’
The positive reconstruction of our economic, health, and ethical systems is a massive task to say the least. However, the impact of the covid-19 pandemic has been immense and thus calls for a response that is equally immense. We, as a global community, need to enter 2021 with a positive outlook.
We need to realize that sometimes in life things must be destroyed in order to be rebuilt. We need to create an opportunity out of this destruction and make sure this rebuilding is truly a positive one that takes into consideration the voices of the masses.
We must not let ourselves become ‘the hollow men’ and our voices must not become ‘quiet and meaningless as wind in dry grass.’ 2021 should not be a year of silence and mourn. It must become a year of growth and prosperity.