There has been some atrocious behavior this year, but I am a glass half full kind of person and I much prefer to focus on the good people that I have seen. In a very difficult time there will always be those who are uplifting, people who inspire us with their courage, humor, compassion or determination. Herewith are my nominees for the most wonderful folks of 2020:
- Without a doubt the doctors and nurses in our clinics and hospitals have been the superheroes of the 2020. For almost a year now they have been on the frontline of the fight against Covid-19. When others were complaining about sacrifices that they had been asked to make, the medical community never missed a beat. Their work was grueling and dangerous and yet day after day they have shown up all across the globe to be the soldiers in the battle for lives.
- Teachers have had to change and adjust to new ways of providing instruction in a moment’s notice. They have had to master the hybrid method of teaching face to face and remotely at the same time. They have donned gear more suitable for someone engaged in emergency medical care than for inspiring a classroom of students. They have faced uncertain conditions and compromised their own safety for the sake of their pupils. They have proven both their mettle and their dedication to our children.
- Students have had to carry on with their educations under difficult situations. Their routines have been upset and they have often lost precious relationships with their peers. It has been tough learning how to navigate technology and to overcome the feelings of isolation derived from remote learning situations. They have demonstrated their resilience again and again.
- Workers in manufacturing jobs have kept the supply chains filled even in times when their coworkers were falling ill around them. They have risked their own health to provide the necessary products that we need.
- Our farmers and those who work on farms have done their best to stock our grocery store shelves with grains, produce, milk, eggs, meat. They have fed us with the bounty of their hard work. Too often their efforts are unsung when they should instead become the stuff of ballads.
- The truckers and railroad engineers have moved supplies to where they are most needed. They have lived on the road, away from home in these troubled times, ready to clock thousands of miles to keep our pantries filled.
- Delivery people have brought packages to our doorsteps. They have shopped for our groceries. They have sometimes worked until the late hours of the night to get our orders delivered in a timely fashion.
- The managers and clerks and stockers have kept our grocery stores operating even in the midst of a lockdown. They work inside with hundreds of strangers potentially bringing the virus into their midst. Somehow they keep smiling, cleaning, insuring that we will have access to what we need.
- Entertainers have brought the gift of music and theater to our homes. They have found ways to make us laugh even when all we wanted to do is cry. They have demonstrated their talents for understanding our hearts and touching our emotions.
- Our first responders have been on duty every minute of every day. They have fought fires, rescued people from floods, lost their lives in the pursuit of keeping us safe. They have carried the critically ill to hospitals and stood watch over those exercising their right to protest in our city streets.
- Countless people have worked in offices to maintain the business of daily life that we do not often see, but miss when it is gone. They have sat behind computers at home making certain that the daily flow of commerce is not disrupted.
- Those who repair our homes, our cars, our appliances have kept things running. Sometimes they have had to enter places about which they knew little, potentially risking their health.
- Peaceful protesters have endured criticism and sometimes even injuries in order to voice concerns and to advocate for justice. They have been branded as looters, destroyers of property and unpatriotic traitors even when those epithets are not true of the overwhelming majority of them.
- Our military continues to serve throughout the world, quietly and valiantly keeping us safe and carrying out their pledge and duty to protect our Constitution.
- The media is too often unfairly criticized these days when, in truth, they keep us informed twenty four hours a day. They provide us with data on the virus. They alert us when a deadly storm is coming our way. They bring truth into our homes even when we sometimes prefer to believe the hoaxes of trolls.
- The scientists who are working to produce better treatments for Covid 19 as well as those who are attempting to develop a vaccine that will halt the spread of this virus are our greatest hope. We may never know who they are, but we will all benefit for their knowledge and inventiveness. Make no mistake, this vaccine will not have been the product of politicians, but of the genius of experts willing to burn midnight oil in search of anything that might halt the death and dying.
- Those who have demonstrated a sense of honor and respect for their fellow citizens by willingly wearing masks, keeping social distances, washing hands, and avoiding crowds and unnecessary gatherings are compassionate and caring. They have been willing to make sacrifices for the good of people that they may not even know. They have been cautious and they have shared their good fortune when able. They are people who realize that getting out and living does not mean partying, but caring for the most vulnerable and least fortunate among us.
The good people outnumber the evil many times over. They come in every shape and size. They are male and female, of varying sexualities, from different races and ethnicities. They represent every religious and non-religious belief. They are old and very young. They represent all that is best in the world and they somehow find ways to step up to do whatever needs to be done without regard for how they might be rewarded for their efforts. They are everyday people whose names we will never know and that is fine with them. They are not seeking fame or fortune. They simply want to do what is right. They are my heroes and it has been joyful watching them in action during this challenging year. They being me hope and put a smile on my face.