2021 Putting Our Differences Aside.

Let’s work hard in 2021, putting our differences aside to fight for normalcy. Together, we can lower the incidence of mental and physical illness.

As 2020 disappears into the pages of history, it will, no doubt be many years before it is forgotten, if ever at all. It truly is one for the history books. Having said that, there’s no reason we can leap into the new year with a sense of optimism and hope. #2021

While its true that 2020 hit everyone hard, thanks to COVID-19, there is hope on the horizon. A few vaccines have been produced and are now being administered. While this is great news, it is still up to us to minimize the virus impact on the world. Sadly, the pandemic has taken its toll. The reality is all around us.

Regardless of where your opinion lies on the subject, one thing I think we can all agree on is that we all have a collective, deep-in-the-guts hopefulness within – one that wants to see some of what we once knew. For me, I am trying to think of 2021 as a year of healing. So, let’s work hard in 2021, putting our differences aside, so we can achieve this common desire.

Therefore, I want to focus on our similarities as opposed to our differences. What if we did embrace our differences and put them aside and worked together for the common good? Maybe this could lead us down the road to a collective resolution? If we are to put the brakes on the mental health crisis we are seeing, I think working together is our best chance.

The COVID-19 Mental Health Epidemic

Perhaps the best example of cohesion for the common good I have ever seen has been in the fire service. While I’m sure there are more amazing teams working together, this is where my own experiences are.

Firstly, the fire service is astounding, and it’s the members who make it that way. A conglomeration of people who sign up for duty to move heaven and earth to make it work for the betterment of their communities. Personally, I’ve never seen anything quite like it.

How we can work together for the common good

Not surprisingly, the service, like any other organization, isn’t without its controversy. In fact, its challenges can get downright intense. Likewise, the solutions offered up to resolve them – well, let’s just say, they can be polarizing to say the least.

As much as we don’t enjoy opposition, that’s life. In reality, not everyone will agree all the time. Nonetheless, it is normal. Likewise, disagreement is even helpful. Can you imagine never having any other option tabled, never considered? How would we grow? Furthermore, how would an organization move forward?

Yet, despite knowing this, we remain divided. Why? Well, I think what lies at the heart of the matter is a lack of listening to one another. Instead, we are waiting to react. Although we all want to be heard, not listening to others can be, well, rather counterproductive.

Today, so far as I’m concerned, defensiveness seems to be set on autopilot, making reacting, rather than listening, the norm.

Learn how to mediate with others HERE

Because firefighting by its very nature is a profession of life or death, individual differences and conflicts are actively discouraged on the fire ground. This rule is so ingrained in the members, that once on an active scene, I have seen a complete transformation between two opposing persons. It’s awesome to see played out. If you didn’t know their history, you would never know that there was tension between them. Instead, what you see are two family-like members willing to lay down their life for one another and for people they have never met.

Having been witness to temporary reconciliation for the greater good, countless times over my fifteen-year stint in the service, I know that society at large can band together, that we can set aside our difference of opinion and unite to beat this virus.

Something to think about.

While seeing the world in a variety of ways is a good thing, it is still worth looking at what’s before us with a wide lens. For example, lockdowns impact everyone, and they don’t consider opinions or feeling. As difficult as this is for everyone, the question becomes how do WE get out of this sooner rather than later? I believe that complying now, regardless of belief towards it, will get everyone what they want sooner. Therefore, let’s put our differences on hold for now, work together and get on with it. Unleash your inner firefighter.


christmas table with decorations for holiday
Photo by Oleg Zaicev on Pexels.com

So, if the members of the fire service can put their opinions and other differences aside under such potentially mentally and physically damaging circumstances, why can’t we? There’s no question, we are living in such challenging times that few of us, if any, are not feeling the heat.

In my experience, putting our differences aside does indeed add to the best possible outcome. Let’s listen and stand in solidarity. Together, so we can end the chaos.

Happy New Year! May 2121 be filled with joy and renewal for you.


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