There have been a lot of downfalls this year; whether that is the Coronavirus, the Black Lives Matter movement not being a societal “acceptance” throughout the Nation, problems with the LGBTQ+ community, wildfires, economic downfalls, and much more. Although all of these things had a huge impact on me, the main one was the fact that people’s rights were being debated. In this image, the large group of cops signifies the government and the one man signifies the people. Although we are supposed to be a government of the people, it has not seemed like that lately. People’s rights like who they can love, what they are allowed to do with their bodies, and whether or not they are allowed in the United States have ALL been on the line. It is bizarre to me that this is even something that people have to debate and vote on. Yet, in reality the people do not have much say and whatever the government decides is usually what goes. There has been a lot of division in our country this year, whether that be through political parties, people that are for or against the LGBTQ+ community, whether or not you believe that Black Lives truly matter, yet the government seems to be turning a blind eye to it, when in reality they should be trying to unite us as one again. I think we can all agree that this is the last things we needed this year with all of the chaos going on, yet it is still happening and has been happening for as long as one can remember. This year has simply brought all of these topics to life and people aren’t afraid of sharing their opinions, even when there should not be a debate within these subjects.
On June 13, 2020 50 year old anti-racism protester Patrick Hutchinson carried an alt-right counter protester out of danger and to safety. Hutchinson and four of his friends were in central London that day to specifically to protect Black Lives Matter protestors and young black boys, whose presence they knew would be met with higher levels of violence from alt-right demonstrators. They were all trained in martial arts and formed a group called Ark Security to protect protesters. Contrastingly, the man he saved, 55 year old Bryn Male, was intoxicated and had gotten separated from his friends. He had been injured in the fray between alt-right and anti-racism protestors, and Hutchinson rescued Male out of there, slung across his shoulder. When asked about it, Hutchinson simply says “my immediate instinct is to protect the vulnerable.” Despite his noble act, Hutchinson isn’t fond of being called a “hero”, and he doesn’t regret his actions even though he hasn’t even heard as much as a simple “thank you” from Male.
I chose this photo because it shows the spirit of someone who really wants good for the world. He wants good for those like him and good for those different from him. It inspires me for the year to come because I see a true example of someone doing good for someone who they may not like or someone that may even hate them. Someone who doesn’t even need to hear a “thank you” or get anything in return, because they know it’s just the right thing to do.
This picture is of a health worker slumped down before the burial of a Central Reserve Police Force officer who died from COVID-19. Looking at the health worker, his body language is an indication of despair. I chose this picture as my inspiration for the next year because it is very heartfelt to me. My entire family consists of health workers with firsthand knowledge on wellness and care, who have experienced an awful amount of distress this year. I cannot understand what their working environment is like, but I know enough to understand that it is a fearful job. You never know who could rush through those hospital doors in dire need of care, only to either be crying tears of joy at the end, or crying over their deathbed. This picture inspires me to believe there are people who always care enough to help you. We should be more appreciative of those who commit themselves to aiding the sick because, although it is a stressful job, their goal is to see other people alive and well. They are strong for caring for ailing people while still needing to care for themselves. They are strong for committing to a job that requires a great deal of effort, no matter how difficult it can get. Most importantly, they are the ones that you can depend on when you are hurt or sick. Overall, it inspires me to look after the people who are close to me until they are on the verge of death
During the year 2020 many unfortunate disasters have happened over the past few months. One such disaster is the Beirut explosion that happened on August 4th. As shown in the picture as you see the remanents of a 5-star hotel, effectively showing the state of the world and how it got there. This began in Lebanon in 2014 when a boat holding thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate was forced to dock in Beirut as they didn’t have enough money to travel across the Suez canal. They later became bankrupt and Lebanon took hold of the ammonium nitrate. Lebanon placed it in hanger 12 next to jugs of oil, kerosene, hydraulic acid, and a firework storage area. Over six years the casing of the ammonium nitrate began to deteriorate and on August 4th a fire started causing the biggest explosion in Lebanon history. This represents how this year started out as covid-19 began to spread in China. The Chinese government began to hide the existence of the newly emerging coronavirus. Mirroring this is Lebanon’s government as they also hid the massive amount of explosives huddled together in the port of Beirut. As time went on the world continued on as normal while the disasters continued to get worse and worse in secret. Both of these disasters would eventually blow up in both of the government’s faces as the corruption of their governmental systems caused this to happen as they continuously ignored it until it was too late. This is how the picture below represents this year as a disaster, as the 5-star hotel that once stood high crumbled from the corruption of others.
Martin Luther King, Jr. said it best: “Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.” This picture represents that quote. We–as individuals, as a society, as a world–are bringing hope and freedom to our lives and working towards a more positive future. In this picture, a child is setting two birds free, and an older man helps him. They are letting the caged birds fly, and if 2020 has shown me one thing, it’s that when others are on the ground, we help lift them up. I like to believe that this year was a year filled with gratitude, with bigger and stronger social movements than ever, and one where we humans became more empathetic. To me, this image represents letting go of past flaws, of small mindsets, and helping those who don’t have freedom. This picture also represents two generations coming together to accomplish good: that’s what our world needs in order to create peace. This year, we saw the Black Lives Matter movement arise in places across the globe, with older people and younger people all participating. We saw climate strikes, and peaceful protests, and cities coming together to recover from Covid-19. This image gives me hope, just as this year gave me hope. We are not a broken world, we can still create peace and love and help one another. I chose this image because the second I saw it, I was instantly filled with hope and an overwhelming sense of freedom. It almost makes me emotional, seeing this act of kindness and knowing how much joy the boy had as he let the birds go. I believe that if we all continue to lift each other up, we can turn the world into a peaceful place.
In my last blog post, my word of the year for 2020 was “grateful”. I touched a little bit on being grateful for doctors and nurses, which is what this picture expresses. I chose this picture because it reminded me about a story I heard from someone. A nurse who is very determined and committed to her job has been working in a hospital in the United States for 5 years. During the Covid-19 pandemic, she spends a lot of her time taking care of people. At home, she has a husband and her newborn baby, but she doesn’t wanna get too close to them because she’s afraid she might spread the virus. So, she sleeps alone in her own room and she barely sees them in the morning, evenings, and at night. She goes to work everyday because she plays an important role in the hospital. Everyday, she puts her health at risk, hoping to help someone who has a poorer health than her. However, just because she seems strong and brave does not mean she feels like that all the time. She feels stressed all the time, she worries on her way to work and who might die today, she hates calling her family and telling them she can’t come home tonight, and she has to endure the death of her colleagues and patients due to the virus. She works more than 12 hours per day, multiple days per week, not knowing when it’s going to end.
When everyone is at home relaxing, nurses and doctors are on their feet all day. When everyone is fast asleep on their bed, they don’t even get a good night’s sleep. When everyone is bored at home, they don’t have time to be bored or entertained. This picture inspires me about 2021 because this year showed all of us to be more grateful for what we have. Many of us learned to be grateful and appreciate all the doctors and nurses that work hard for us. Not just being grateful doctors and nurses, but for going to school, having a job, going on trips, being in public, being with your friends, etc. These are the things that we would normally brush off or not give enough appreciation for, but this year, and next year, we learn to appreciate those things more than ever.
This year of 2020 has had many problems and has likely generally sucked for everyone. People have been unable to see family and normal activities we could do before are now extremely restricted. We have all at one point this year felt like this lighthouse getting thrashed by powerful waves. Life can be hard sometimes and we have to learn to adjust and roll with the punches. We are resilient and are still standing even after all our trials and have become stronger because of it. I chose this picture because it reminded me of how it can feel when bad things happen and without any warning a wave can come up and bring you down, but you stand tall through it and come out better than before. I am hopeful as well that this year is just a passing storm and things will get better soon especially with the vaccine on the way. The sun will shine again on this cloudy situation and we will appreciate it more than we ever could have before this year. The little glimmer of light in the lighthouse represents the hope and strength that we hold within ourselves. This year has been miserable and difficult like when you are getting drowned in freezing water and swept away with enormous gusts of wind. We need to take refuge from the storm and remember the blessings and good things in this life so that we do not crumble in sadness over things we have no control over and that we can not change. Life is hard and we should try to stay positive and give service to others because we have got this and we are not alone.
The Year in Pictures
The picture I chose is captioned: “Dana Clark and her 18-month-old son Mason wait in line at City Hall as early voting begins for the upcoming presidential election in New Orleans, Louisiana, October 16, 2020. Clark said she donned the protective cover because she didn’t know how many people would be wearing masks in line, and her child doesn’t have a mask. She said she works as a teacher, and wanted to take precautions for her students’ sakes.” This picture captures aspects of many of the important events of 2020. Dana Clark is wearing a mask that has the words, “I can’t breathe” written across the front which is a phrase that stems from the protests in response to the death of George Floyd in police custody. The Covid-19 pandemic is represented by the large cover that is protecting Clark and her child. In addition, the stress and importance of the 2020 election is shown by the act of standing in line for early voting despite possibly being put at risk of contracting the virus. All in all, the photo exhibits the resilience and dedication of human beings to fight for what we believe in a world that makes continuing on seem impossible at times. We have experienced incredible isolation this year while also managing to come together in a phenomenal amount of strength and power. With the sorrows and hardships of this year it could have been expected that we would all lose the will to remain spirited and motivated, which many of us did for some time. However, when it came the time to rise up and use our power for creating the world we wanted to live in, we did. This is not to say that there is not more work to be done, because there always is, but this year has shown us that we are capable even during the most difficult of times.
June 3rd in Los Angeles, people gather in a moment of silence as the charges for the murderer of George Floyd are announced. The protestor, head covered by the American flag, is a perfect representation of this year’s national sentiment. The man’s anonymity shows that he, too, could have been in the position of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, or the countless other African Americans killed in police custody this year. But the anonymity provided by the flag goes further than this, (just like the Black Lives Matter protests) it addresses the disparities and discrimination faced by BIPOC across the nation in all aspects of life. Racial inequities are only furthered (and more obvious) by massive crises like COVID-19, we can’t continue to press snooze on these issues in the United States. The pandemic has shown us that this country needs more than just a change in leadership, it needs systemic change.
To me, this year was an eye-opener. The coronavirus pandemic, the Black Lives Matter protests, and every moment in-between guided me towards a better understanding of the world around me. While many millions have suffered, I have immense privilege in saying that this year provided me growth. With this privilege and all the resources I’ve been given, I will work to dismantle the institutions causing this harm. No matter how bleak things continue to be, this photo gives me hope for our generation, because the power truly lies in the hands of the people, and we’re awakening.
When people look back on years as a whole they usually define as either “good” or “bad”. However, every year holds it ups and downs. Even through 2020, a year that has made many people around the world feel completely powerless, there are still countless moments of good. The photo I chose was of an Italian family spending their time in quarantine. Although it may not completely represent this year, it reminds me of the things that we all got to experience because of the coronavirus outbreak. For example the Christmas concerts that Mrs. Corrao put on outdoors. I got to experience looking at a mountain range while playing a Spanish march, and that would have never happened if it were not for our current situation. This photo reminds me to have a hopeful outlook on things and to appreciate what I have.
This photo also looks as if it has two sides to it. The young girl painting her father’s toe nails represents the hopefulness and light, while the mother looking off the balcony can be taken as the fear and darkness that this year has brought upon us. This definitely reflects 2020 because even through dark times we have to find ways to focus on the light in our lives. Along with helping me to look back on my year with a grateful state of mind, it will inspire me to look for the bright side of every situation no matter how difficult it gets. 2020 has been a rough year, but I appreciate some of the more different experiences I have had because of it.
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The image that I choose to represent the past year is a single guy standing in front of a wall of police officers with riot shields. I think just about everyone can relate to how the guy in the image is feeling. Of going up against overwhelming odds where it looks like there is nothing you can do and you feel absolutely minuscule in comparison. Even though the guy is incomparable small in front of the line of police officers he still stands firm and refuses to back down. In the caption below the image it says that the guy was stopping the police officers from getting to young children who were behind him. Events like this where a single person holds back a great number to prevent them from harming vulnerable people are always something to be admired. I think the mindset displayed by the guy is a great representation of how strong people have been this last year and even when they have lost many things they still keep fighting. When I missed going to state last year in basketball because of the coronavirus I didn’t understand the full extent of the impact that it was going to have on my life. It really hit me at the beginning of this year when we still had to do online school that the coronavirus wasn’t going away anytime soon and that it was going to stick around for a while. These were events that I couldn’t control and like the man in the image I have to stand firm against the wave of bad events. I hope that people can carry this way of thinking into the next year because even though the immediate future doesn’t look too bright if we all refuse to be intimidated then we can push through.
The photo I chose was a shot taken in the middle of a protest against the stay-at-home order in which a health worker was standing in the street as a counter-protester. My first emotion when I looked at this photo was disgust because although I knew many people were against the stay-at-home movement, I wasn’t aware that people had actually scheduled protests to fight such an important issue. It is truly scary to think that some people interpret the government’s attempts to keep us safe as a violation of their freedom and rights as American citizens. The photo also displays an important theme of protests whether they be for the right reasons or the wrong have been a very frequent occurrence in the year 2020. From the Black Lives Matter movement, and climate change rallies to people expressing opposition to political issues the recent increase of protests shows how disunified and unorganized our country is in a time when we need to work together the most. I’m also disappointed that the educated health care workers who advised the stay-at-home movement are the ones who are having to counter this protest instead of the police, like we have seen them do at various BLM protests and other types as well. One final thing this picture represents to me is all things I want to leave behind in the new year. With a new administration taking over shortly and the vaccine for covid-19 almost ready for public use I am very optimistic about the next few months.
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This photo best describes 2020 because it really demonstrates the feeling of the year, in that there were empty streets and for many people empty hearts at the loss of their loved ones, their jobs, and their hope. This year was very hard for the entire world and it felt like this image, lost and empty, a street that would normally be so packed that you could not see concrete, now completely empty, without a person in sight. It shows the social state, when normally everyone would be out enjoying their summers and their time with their loved ones and friends, this year most people spent it isolated to their homes, in fear of spreading the virus to other people. The pandemic has affected everyone, even economies, as there are fewer people working in these times of pandemic, and so as a result less money being made. Families have had to feel the weight of losing their livelihoods because they had to shut down their businesses because they could not afford to run them anymore during this pandemic when very few people were making regular trips to small businesses. We all have now experienced what it is like to walk down the streets and see people wearing masks everywhere, hardly ever getting to see a full human face, and it can make one very sad, in that this disease has gone so far that we cannot even be around many people without being worried if we will get sick. But do not worry, for even though this year has been like this dark and empty street, next year will be brighter, as we move into a year with the distribution of a vaccine.
At the end of 2019 there was a storm brewing on the horrizon and the sea was beging to become rough and unpredictable. Than 2020 hit and that storm front swept across the globe and the sea of life became polluted with hate, sickness, sadness, and despair. We had role models pass into the next life, goverment corruption and political tension, a innocent man slaughtered in the name of “justice”, and a sickness that swept the world as we knew it out from under our feet. What we faced next was a scary reality in which you could almost close your eyes and pretend you where watching some kind of Science Fiction horror movie. The year just seemed to get worse and worse. First Covid shut down the world and now we are faced with never returning to what was. Than the passing of legends and icons like Cobe Byrant and Chadwick Boseman who were btoh tragically taken from us. To the slaughter of Geroge Flyod and the sad contentions that followed during the weeks of protests. Indeed it seems like the very world was falling apart and yet we have made it. We have ridden the tidal wave that life threw at us and pulled through these trying times togehter as a school, a community, a nation, and in the first time in a long time the world. When you first begin learning anything you fail many, many times, but after every wipeout a good surfer gets up and goes again and again and again until he finds that balance to ride the wave. We are begining to find that balance in our lives and as the sun sets behind our backs we can ride this wave sraigth into the new dawn. We can make this year our own.
The oxford dictionary is a collection of English words that is also what you would call a living book as revisions and additions are added every year to the ever changing vocabulary of different generations. In light of this, the Oxford dictionary features a word of the year. This word has several unique requirements to meet in order to be eligible to be considered word of the year. The word must embody the general mood of the year and be considered relevant to events that have transpired. This is why 2018 saw the resurgence of the word toxic and as a result it was elected word of the year and in 2019 it was Climate Emergency with the matter of global warming taking the national stage with efforts by Gruta Thunberg and other activists to bring the problem to the globe’s attention.
So in light of the Coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe there is a lot of negative words that are in line to assume the word of the year. Some of them include but are not limited to; pandemic, lockdown, isolation, mandate, and of course coronavirus which was first coined in the late 60s but has been now implemented into peoples of all ages from all over the world everyday use. Pandemic has seen a 57,000 percent increase between now and last year.
If it was up to me for my word of the year I would select lockdown which may not be used as much as the other negative words of 2020 I feel is all encompassing. The reason we have to lock down and social distance is really what 2020 has boiled, which is the appearance of the coronavirus. Ever since it has appeared the coronavirus has completely changed our way of life locking down our day to day life and also the world as a whole as for once in a very very long time people were forced to slow down. Effectively locking down on a global, national, and personal level that a lot of people have never experienced before.