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2021 is not our saving grace, but we can give it a shot

Bye 2020, we won’t miss you. But don’t be fooled, 2021 is coming in with its own set of existing and new challenges. The pandemic is spreading faster than ever. We haven’t made much progress in our long road to social justice. The November election showed that we were much more divided than we could ever imagine. The violent and terrifying January 6th insurrection led by right wing extremists egged by then-President Trump woke us up to the very real consequences of that growing divide.

It seems that we are lost, we don’t have a true direction to keep us moving forward.

2020 ended, 2021 started, but our calendars can’t change time or what we do with it. It’s time we find our purpose and agree on what we want to become as a country and people. I’m an optimist but also a realist. We can’t progress if we don’t accept our reality and have a plan to change it.

The first thing we need to agree on is what we really care about. What defines the American destiny in the 21st century? Equality? Freedom? Opportunity? Democracy? Survival? We’re at a point where our contradictions are preventing us from moving forward. We no longer have a purpose, a common goal to reach together or a common enemy to align ourselves against. That means we have to actually stop, think and agree on where we want to go and how.

If we look at the past, we’ll find that this country was founded on almost irreconcilable contradictions. The most pervasive: a belief in the right to absolute freedom for some built on the enslavement of others. This particular contradiction is one that has shaped this country’s path until today and will for a long time. If we want to take this path in a different direction, we’ll have to make the conscious decision to prioritize equality, the right to a decent life and opportunity for one to choose their path.

What makes a decent life? Safety, health, education, financial security among others. Without them, one cannot break free from basic survival needs and reach the next level of their humanity, which is to find their individual purpose and opportunity to realize that purpose.

In 2019, 10.5% of Americans lived below the poverty line. That’s more than 30 million people. Another 30% are just one paycheck away from falling into poverty. The number is increasing with new unemployment and hardships created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, a couple government pandemic relief payouts are not going to solve that problem.

It’s not just about money. It’s about safety too. Everyone deserves to feel safe and protected, no matter their race or origin. Instead of building the infrastructure to create safety and protection, we’ve chosen a pervasive system of criminalization and punishment that follows people from their birth to their deathbed.

And instead of working together on the things that matter, we've chosen to fight each other and paralyze ourselves.

Let’s open our eyes to our reality. Let’s talk about the decisions we need to make. Let’s learn what we need to do to start putting human life first. This will be the purpose of Humans Theory in 2021 and beyond.


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