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What 2020 is Teaching Me

I doubt that anyone who is old enough to have at least a few years of comparative experience under their belt would disagree when I say 2020 has become the kingpin standard of outlier folklore. Who knew back in early January that modern society was scheduled for a life changing cranial lobotomy!

Yes, we had many hints and signs that it was not going to be a cakewalk, especially in the US. We knew a gigantic presidential race was brewing and that racism, polarization, political and social ideologies were on a collision course. We also suspected that things were not making sense and that maybe, just maybe our political, scientific, business, economic, media and educational leaders were bending more and more of the truth to promote their agendas. Yet despite the cacophony of spiraling values and traditions, most people were optimistic for the new year.

I need not rehash for anyone what unfolded. Unless you have been in a mountaintop cave in Tibet on a yearlong pilgrimage, every world citizen was impacted by the Covid-19 world pandemic, the resulting shutdown, and the associated ripple effects…demonstrations, riots, panic, masks, economic upheaval, etc. My intention is not to explore the theories surrounding the cause of the outbreak and governmental actions that followed. Regardless of the actual source and agendas of the crisis, deviously designed or not, people of all nations have been forced to deal with the fall out in their day to day lives.

My intention is quite simple. To share the most important insights this crisis has taught me thus far in hopes that you will also take a moment to sit down and explore the same inquiry inside of you. The personal ah-ha’s I share, of which there are three, will be concise. We have all been exposed to far too many long-winded briefings from experts in all fields. I do not wish to add to your overload, nor am I pretending to be an expert. Just a man sharing from his heart.

The first one I label “Tom’s Laughter Black Hole”. One day I woke up and a voice inside asked a clear question. When was the last time you had a good old-fashioned belly laugh Tom? And truthfully, I could not answer it. Nor could I remember hearing such laughter from anyone else. What I recalled were intense, heavy, and fearful dialogues. Most laughter derived from the enjoyment of ridiculing an opposing opinion. In that moment, I realized I had allowed that tiny microscopic virus, and the loud screaming debates, to override one of the most effective human gifts that elevate my vibration. I may not know the science behind it, but I know from experience that laughter is highly contagious. And I also know that laughter changes everything inside me…mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. A good-natured laugh, not at someone’s expense, makes me feel vibrant and alive. Yes, 2020 is intense. Which makes laughter that much more healing and necessary to bring forth.

My second lesson is about my value system. I suspect we all had a dose of this lesson this year. Values exploration is not new to me. I am a former life coach and I utilized value exercises with the best of them. But 2020 took me to a much deeper level. What do I mean? Well, there are the values we say we live by, and there are the values we truly demonstrate when the house starts burning down. And this year highlighted those discrepancies. I learned that genuinely integrated values will survive any test. And when they hold firm and steady, we walk in pure integrity with our value system. 2020 revealed where I was only talking the talk. If I proclaim a certain value, then each day my life must demonstrate that value come rain or shine. If I have fully integrated Love as a value, no mask, regulation, or panic can threaten my conviction to it. This is the true definition of a value.

My third major insight is quite simple. I painfully discovered I know nothing about anything. There is one thing 2020 has powerfully disclosed. So much of what I thought was real, reliable, sacred, cherished, admirable, dependable, and lawful…has proven to be one huge illusion. I feel like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz who finally peeked behind the curtain. Those who I thought had my back really do not. That does not make them evil puppeteers (well some perhaps). But it has awoken me deeply to the fact that our systems are severely broken and on life support. And there is no quick fix. But there are solutions. Not easy ones but real ones. And that starts with me. For what I see in the external is a clear reflection of my own inner systems malfunctioning. To become part of the solution I must first clean up my act. And by realizing I know nothing about anything is the perfect place to start!

I hope in some way this has been helpful to you dear reader. Or at least a little entertaining. I wish you the best for the conclusion of your 2020 journey.

With Love ~ Tom LaRotonda


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