Narrative connections

The Best Year

The Best Year

I'm not interested in writing about what a tough year this has been. There is too much "I can't wait until 2020 is over" going on these days. The bottom line is that the turn of the year will not magically wipe away the virus or the political angst that has weighed us all down. We cannot simply flip a switch to happiness and joy.

I am willing to suggest that 2020 could end up being one of the greatest years in our lifetime, if we choose to heed its lessons. After being locked up and beaten down from all of the negativity that the internet enables, then we might be able to rediscover ourselves.

We had a big snow last week and seeing my kids’ reddened faces after hours outside was one of those “little things” that matter most. There was a sense of joy and energy that can only be produced from real stuff. In other words, you can’t get that feeling from a YouTube video of kids sled riding. You have to experience it for yourself—live and in person.

Artificial intelligence is not intelligence. In fact, I submit that the artificial life is what is destroying our spirits and, quite frankly, isn’t worth living. So, maybe this past year shed some light on how we have been living and offers us a bit of a wake up call to change our ways. Maybe, the lack of trust in the social networks and the resulting egocentricity of the selfie world has run its course.

I swear I have seen more people outside, regardless of weather, the last nine months. I have talked to more neighbors than I had in the five years prior. And, I have chosen to turn off and tune out the noise that comes from much of the digital world. Overall, I feel a bit more connected to reality and less accountable to the meaningless drivel that spews out of my devices.

If artificial intelligence is smart then I choose ignorance. I want to live my life and certainly don’t need some algorithm determining my likes before I do. Simply put, I feel like there is a wonderful opportunity in front of us to take note of what makes us come alive. Feeling the wind on our face, building something with our own hands, listening to the stories of older people, or taking joy in the warmth of our loved ones all trump a TikTok dance routine that is neither original nor interesting.

I choose to look forward to 2021 bearing the fruits of 2020’s lessons. I want us all to find the strength to carpe the heck out of the diem and to not be afraid of present difficulties. We must come alive by restoring faith in one another and being grateful for the world being our playground.

I wish for everyone a sense of peace as a result of reconnecting with the real world, real people, and your real selves. Keep your hearts clean and try to live honestly and fearlessly so that the things that you can’t control do not dishearten you. I wish you some good ole’ fashioned merriment and the willpower to see the best the world has to offer.

Happy holidays and warmest wishes!

Mark Potter

Mark Potter

Founder / Consultant

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