The term 2020 vision refers to our eyesight as being near perfect. The year 2020 gave us a vision of many issues that have provided challenges which include how we can be more effective in dealing with these issues.
At the top of the list is the Covid 19 pandemic which has placed enormous strain on health care and the many dedicated workers. We all owe our essential workers, whether in the health care system or other important services, a real sense of gratefulness. In addition to their work, they too have families that they must protect when not working. May God bless them all.
There have been some serious shortcomings in our health care and elderly care system, which must and will be changed to a more protective and safer environment.
The issue of systemic racism has been brought to the forefront due to the deaths of George Floyd and others. The systemical injustices that directly contribute to many racialized people living in poverty is one that we must all share a vision that is dedicated to systemic change. It should be noted here that to achieve systemic change the most important criteria is the personal transformation of our way of thinking. If we can take a more holistic approach in our thinking and planning which accepts the fact that we are all connected then change can occur.
2020 included many acts of kindness to and care for the more vulnerable in our society. Vincentians have stepped up to the challenge by inventing other means of outreach to these neighbours in need. This has been an especially difficult task within our Society of Saint Vincent de Paul due to the number of older members, who must also take the necessary precautions to protect themselves from Covid 19. While not being able to conduct our standard home visits, we have found other ways to stay in touch with those living in poverty. May God bless all Vincentians.
Have we been able to learn anything from 2020 and perhaps look forward to 2021 and beyond with this unique 2020 vision? I believe we have learned to be more compassionate for others, to appreciate relationships with family and friends more and to understand how important it is to advocate for effective and affective change in our systemic structures.
As 2020 closes let us all look forward to 2021 with a renewed vision for a better world. May God bless everyone this Christmas.
About the author:
Jim Paddon lives in London, Ontario, Canada and is a Canadian Vincentian. He is currently chair of the National Social Justice Committee of the Society in Canada. He is married to his dear wife Pat and they have six daughters and eleven grandchildren. Jim has been a member of the Society since the 1970’s.