2020 has been hard. We are dealing with issues globally that this generation has never had seen before. We have access to information that we’ve never had access to before, so we can see scary and terrible things unfold in real-time. Things that don’t physically affect us because they happen in another part of the city. Another part of the country. Another part of the world. These things affect us emotionally. We empathize. It hurts to see bad things happen to others. It hurts to know that there are people in the world who lack compassion and decency. We see their terrible actions on video, repeated over and over.
And for some, these things have happened to us. To our families. Our friends. Our neighbours.
We grieve. We are afraid. We don’t know what the future will bring.
There is hope.
There are things to be grateful for.
All is not lost.
Teaching fashion history reminds me that there is no better time to be alive than now. We have a better standard of living for more people globally than ever before. We have better medical care. We have lower infant mortality. Fewer women die in child-birth. We are likely to see most of our children reach adulthood.
It’s because of these improvements that we can see how intolerable it is that these benefits are not shared by all. Some people in our out country still lack access to clean water. We see how intolerable it is that people are not treated as equals. We see how intolerable it is that the privileged benefit from having the spoils of our society manufactured by people who are not paid fair wages. People who do not have safe homes or safe employment, and who are beaten for speaking up for themselves.
How can we have hope in these times?
I have hope because I see that we are better off than we were 50 years ago. 100 years ago. 1000 years ago. People like us made these things happen. People made things better. With creativity. Ingenuity. Science. Innovation. Love. Compassion. Caring for each other.
And we still possess all of those tools. I see so many people working hard to make things better. I see people every day demonstrating caring and compassion. I see people developing technologies and starting organizations that are better for the planet. I see people speaking up about injustices and working to change them. I look at people taking action to change toxic practices in the fashion industry. Working to eliminate toxic chemicals and toxic attitudes. I see people making a difference by consciously choosing where they spend their money.
I want to surround myself with the people who are making a difference in the world. Those that want to make a positive impact in the world and are looking for ways to increase the effect of their efforts.
I am excited about what the coming months and years will bring. I want to see the growth of companies that demonstrate equality and build up people who are marginalized by race, gender, ability or size. I want to see strong communities of people who employ, make and buy goods locally.
Our efforts now can make the world a better place for each other. A better place for people in our local and global communities who have fewer privileges than we do. A better place for generations who come after us.
What we do today matters.
Be a force for good. Make a difference. Build a dream.
Take someone with you on the journey.