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Opinions of Sunday, 20 December 2020

Columnist: Kobina Ansah

The 4 greatest lessons from 2020

Kobina Ansah, author Kobina Ansah, author

We entered 2020 with a lot of energy and excitement. Prior to the first day of this year, our churches were flooded with people on 31st Night; even the devil was there. “2020: A year of victories,” some of us were told by our prophets. “You will travel abroad,” others were instructed.

While hooting at the old year, many of us had great plans and resolutions for the new one. 2020 was going to be that breakthrough we had always envisaged. We had well laid out strategies to better our lot. All the dreams we had postponed in previous years, we were certain they were going to be achieved in no other year than 2020.

And then… corona came knocking at our doors. For a large part of the year, we were kept indoors. Some passed away while others lost their jobs. The misfortunes began creeping in. Airports were shut down. The pandemic planted fear in us. Wearing masks became a must. Economies took a downturn. Businesses started collapsing. Relationships came tumbling down.

2020 was the same year we were so excited to enter; the same year we had made so many plans for. No one would have believed if they were told a day was coming when having physical contact with others was going to be a taboo. We would not have believed if we were told a time was coming when the world would literally come to a halt because of a virus.

Today, many look back at 2020 with a bag of mixed feelings. As this year comes to an end, these are some of the greatest lessons we must not take for granted.

1. Tomorrow is a promise that may never be fulfilled.

We began 2020 with a lot of people ? friends and enemies alike. They had dreams like we did. Some had great intentions to roll out projects to benefit the masses. While some were taking advantage of the little they had available at the moment, others had rescheduled their dreams to the day they would have enough.

Today, not everyone we began 2020 with is still alive. Corona took some away. Accidents denied some the opportunity to see this day. Others succumbed to diseases of various sorts. We all pray to live to see tomorrow but unfortunately, today may be the last for some of us.

For those who are no more, all plans that were scheduled for later never came to pass. If any dream must be chased, the time is now. Indeed, no one knows if they will live to see tomorrow. We must, thus, not postpone living today.

2. The gift of life is the greatest gift of life.

It is great to have wealth. When you are rich and prosperous, it is such a great thing. In the absence of life, however, all our wealth has no use. When there is no life, money only remains a stack of useless papers. It is better to have life without money than money without life.

In 2020, millions have perished from corona. Some are sleeping in small graves instead of the luxurious mansions they put up. Despite all the great plans many had, they do not have life today to pursue such. If some could buy an extra life for a fortune, they would not have minded trading their wealth. Life is indeed expensive.

The beginning of all achievements is life. To have any possession, the first thing to have is life. Without it, no achievement is ever possible. If you are alive today, appreciate it.

If you do not have all you have desired, this is not the time to grieve. 2020 has taught us how important life is. No matter how rich you may wish to be, you can never afford an extra life. If you have life, enjoy it to the maximum. You get to pass through this world only once. Make sure it counts.

3. Embrace change!

2020 started on a great note. Schools were in session. The cinemas and theatres were all running smoothly. Workplaces were crowded with staff and business was booming… until the virus showed up. And then… a lockdown was effected. And then… life turned around.

All of a sudden, almost every activity was moved online. Education was moved online. Production houses migrated their content online, too. Businesses started shutting down their offices so staff could work remotely. Churches also moved their services online.

The curtains are being drawn on 2020 and amazingly we all have adjusted to a new way of doing things. Everyone has built a new life around the pandemic. Change is often uncomfortable but the earlier we embraced it, the better it would be for us. If you see change approaching, don’t flee from it. Embrace it lest you become obsolete.

4. Be opportunistic.

2020 will not only be remembered for corona but also the opportunities it presented. Despite the gloomy picture the pandemic painted, others still found opportunities of which they took advantage of. This year may have been the worst for some but for others, it may have been the best.

But for 2020, some may never have been able to have their dream wedding of only a few invited guests. Corona made people unearth their talents. If not for 2020, the online communication platform, Zoom, may not have been as relevant as it is now. Though this year bestowed on some a lot of hard luck, others found the opportunity to turn it to their favour.

In life, smell opportunities from afar off. Where everyone sees darkness, look carefully and you will find the light. Find opportunities and chase after them. Life is not about what people see. It is about what they prefer to pay attention to.

The writer is a playwright and Chief Scribe of Scribe Communications, an Accra-based writing company ( Watch his play, THE BOY CALLED A GIRL, on Scribe Productions’ YouTube channel.