2020 taught me to admire real people.
Prior to 2020 I enjoyed checking in with celebrities via social media. I enjoyed listening to them talk, appreciated their advice, and admired their publicized good deeds. While I have always loved people, the you's and me's of the world, there was something special about a starlit celebrity.
Those ideas I carried were swiftly chased away early on in 2020.
I watched people with jobs making more in one appearance than most will ever see lecture small business owners about the importance keeping their doors closed.
I listened as we were encouraged to embrace the new normal while their jobs and wallet went largely unaffected.
I listened as famous parents with private tutors applauded the shut down of schools and dared to tell everyday parents that they understood the struggle of home and virtual schooling.
Famous men and women took to social media to encourage shutdowns and isolation while they vacationed with family or visit restaurants with friends.
I watched with growing frustration as people I had once admired championed destructive behavior of one group while vilifying others.
I saw famous voices who carried a narrative be lifted higher into public view while those who dared question were shouted down, shamed, or canceled.
I talked with friends, cried with business owners, and debated with acquaintances on how we could move forward . . . what would our lives be like in a month, in 6 months, in a year? Would we make it?
Do the ends justify the means?
But then I started watching something else . . . I started watching everyday people.
I watched as many freely moved around unmasked and opened their businesses to whomever desired to show up.
I watched every day people be brave and go against what was popular because they saw something different.
I saw integrity from people who knew the cost would be great but valued their soul more.
I smile as I continue to watch everyday people quietly, without pomp, frill, adoring fans, and money, step beyond what they are told to do by people who have no clue what our lives look like.
I know 2020 brought about many things for a lot of people.
A lot of fear, questions, heartbreak, depression, loss, and disappointments.
But I challenge you to stop listening to those voices who do nothing but make you feel isolated, dangerous, and wrong. I challenge you to look outside, to ask questions, and to start admiring the real people you live around.
If you were brave, if you asked questions, if you broke rules, if you supported unpopular voices, if you chose to live rather than cower in fear with a phone pressed up against your face as you waited to be told what to do . . . I admire you more than words can express.
I cherish you . . .
Wanna go get some wings?
If you have tips or concerns about human trafficking happening in your area call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) at 1-888-373-7888. NHTRC is a national, toll-free hotline, with specialists available to answer calls from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. #OUR#SaveOurChildren Psstt . . . you are allowed to not wear a mask now.