Seasonal affective disorder is a real thing. It is a mental health affliction that increases in severity as the family unit breaks down through divorce and death. It often intersects with other underlying disorders to push people to the brink of just giving up on life. COVID-19 and the subsequent economic hardships have added another layer to that stress. Check on your friends, even the ones who are always smiling – they are often hurting the most.

Sorry for being a downer but, given my own experiences, I felt that a reminder was in order we should reach out to people who are hurting, and even to people who are doing fine. By reaching out and connecting to one another, caring about the needs of our neighbors, and focusing on the world outside we can make make 2021 a better year. If we continue to do what we have all been doing, 2021 is just going to be an extension of 2020.

I had initially wanted to write something in a more cynical and solemn tone. I wanted my last words of 2020 to be an extension of my real-life Scrooge self. But given what I have personally been through over the past weeks, I want to at least attempt to be more hopeful, because despite 1,200 dollars in car repairs, back rent, phone bills, bills, more bills and still more bills, I found a way, thanks to a solid support group, to pull my head up and avoid hitting the ground… To avoid jumping off the cliff.

The point is that yes, life sucks sometimes, but it can be good.

Remember who your friends are

When the bills are piling up, and the family is falling apart, when a virus is killing hundreds of thousands of people, and the president seems to be losing his mind, still not everything is bad. You still have friends, amd people who care. You still have friends who message you on social media, who are there to give you 5 dollars for gas when they don’t have 20 dollars for food. And just because people can’t help you out financially does not mean they don’t care.

We are all suffering right now. We all need to remember that we are not alone in our suffering.

Politicians fiddle as our lives burn

In 2021, can we please stop acting like politicians are going to make our lives any better. They are not. They are all leeches content to throw scraps to their “bases;” just enough nourishment to keep up our hopes that, one day. they might pass legislation that will change our lives. But they are never going to do anything other than help themselves.

We need to accept this fact and remember what I wrote above. We must remember and appreciate the people who show us love and support, whether or not that is financial or emotional is irrelvant.  We survive and thrive on both. There is a reason why socialism makes so much sense at this point in history: Community-based economies and social systems undermine the power of the politicians – and actually work for the people.

President Trump is leaving office

Donald Trump’s dumb ass is going to leave office. The tin-foil hat fear that he’s actually going to stage a coup is just silly. He’s playing the part of scorned leader on TV only to profit from the dumbasses in his cult: Those poor white people who are willing to throw money at any candidate or news network willing to justify their paranoid fear that the browning of America will lead to their enslavement. Fear not, DJT will no longer be our president on January 20th of 2021. #ByeDon

The effects of the Trump presidency will be long-lasting

While Donald Trump will no longer hold any real political power after January 20th, he will still hold cultural capital. His power and the influence in the ‘conservative’ movement will remain, and he will drive it further and further to the extremes.

While DJT himself is no longer a threat to democracy, there will be those who are more political capable and, dare I say, more intelligent, who will see the path to drive America towards fascism using Trump’s cultural capital aming the American right. I no longer say “far-right” because there is no middle ground in conservatism.

Why we fight

This is why we must all fight for the betterment and survival of not only our country but our fellow citizens. It isn’t just our democracy that is danger, it is the lives of those who we love most, and the strangers who we have yet to meet. We mist continue to fight against forces like economicinrquality and social isolation that exacerbate depression.

We have to reach out to people who are too proud to say “I am scared, I am hurting, and I may want to die.” It is our obligation to help those who do not know how to help themselves in this country’s dark times. If we do that, 2021 will be a great year.

Those of us who receive help have to learn to appreciate our helpers. Without them, we would not be alive right now at all. We must reciprocate the love and support in any way that we can. It is the right and just thing to do. If we do that, 2021 will be a great year.

We have to stop waiting on a savior when we are our communities’ saviors – and the community is our savior. The politicians are figureheads detached from our reality. Our neighbors and friends, however, know what we are going through. They know what we need. If we are all willing to pitch-in and help one another out and to stop expecting a political party to fulfill our responsibility to our neighbors, then 2021 will be a great year.

Donald Trump is going away in less than 30 days, but the cancer of selfishness and hate that drove him to power will remain. We also have to recognize that rural Americans have different solutions to different problems than those in larger cities. When a person from an urban area comes in and tells the ‘podunk redneck’ to change their lives, the message will fall on deaf ears.

The combination of an American culture racist and selfish at its foundations, and the condescending attitudes of “woke,” urban white saviors towards rural America will strengthen the power of the American right unless we make strives to change. If we do that, 2021 will be a great year.

The point of this is that we have the power to make 2021 better. We are the solution, not the politicians, the parties, or the preachers. We the people. We the community. We the working class. Think about it. Let it marinate. Then go out and make 2021 everything that it can and should be.