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What a Year! 5 Lessons 2020 Forced Me To Learn

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This time last year was electrifying with hopes and dreams of a new year and a new purpose. I looked forward to the new year with the same assurance I had always have that the new year will indeed signal possibility and new dreams. Well, I was blind to the reality of a year.

The year didn’t just shock but also choked me into submission. You and I went through the end of this decades disoriented.

As a Nigerian with huge believes about the significant of hoping and praying into the New Year, I desired a year that cared. Unfortunately, what I hoped for was far different from what was delivered to me by providence. Painful, however, is the fact that you can return the year for a refund.

This year is unique. It brought a lot of drama. For someone like me (an Introvert), I dislike drama. 2020 is like that friend that takes you to a party, where you have no acquaintance, only to leave you there on your own with the numerous eyeballs curiously staring at you.

The drama and uncertainty started with the loss of lives of human and wildlife in the biggest wildfire in Australia. Then the flooding, hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters in other parts of the country. The earth indeed behaved like a convulsing child, as prophesied by an influential pastor in Nigeria.

The incursion of a pandemic, COVID 19, dimmed the prospect the year 2020 could be. The global challenged tamed us like prisoners. It left us helpless for a while.

This year might seem cursed, but as a human being, I have always learned to learn from difficult situations to get a better experience. The list below is the lessons I have learnt in 2020, as I look forward to 2021.

Don’t struggle in a Quick Sand

Quick fact: The fastest way to sink deeper and disappear into quicksand is to keep struggling to get out. This is what 2020 taught me.

Amid the whole challenging episodes, one thing I have learnt, that seemed to work personally is to stop struggling in quicksand. Struggling, in this sense, means exhibiting fear, desperation and anxiety in the face of a huge challenge.

This year has thought me to face my problems with serenity. The fact remains that you could find a quick solution to your problems when you stay calm and in peace. This might not be easy, but, it helps.

During the lockdown, with was not easy for many, instead of panic and fear, I had to calm myself down to see a new perspective to the issues.

Plans Fail in the Face of uncertainty, So Have plan B

I made plans before this year was unveiled. I had written them down as advised by somebody I respect. For the first time in my life, I was serious about the plans I had, but like many other folks, most of my plans fell through.

This year taught me that plans are not certain, they are merely roadmaps. But what is the use of a road map when you discover during the cause of your journey that there are no longer roads where you thing they earlier were?

So, I have learnt not only to make plans but to always acknowledge that things might not go as planned. So get a plan B, C and D. So you need to have a plan B. When plan A fails, Plan B will come on board.

This implies that you might fail, but these alternative plans ensure you are not stranded when you fail.

Be Grateful for your place:

I must confess that I was one of those who lambasted people who went to loot food items and other items from warehouses around the country. I was hard on these people, I called them thieves and all manner of names for “stealing food” (Not people who looted malls and people’s houses and business).

I believed nobody can justify stealing. However, I realized that if I have had experienced hunger in the real sense of the word, I would join those taking packs of noodles from those warehouses.

I realized I needed to be thankful for all I had.

Gratitude is an attitude you inculcate consciously. Yes, you might have reasons not to care and thank God for the good and bad you might have experienced, but you need to realize that some folks are even in worst situations.

As we go into 2020, like make it a habit to be thankful for the little things that make us who we are. And avoid the urge to judge people for what they do until we have lived their lives.

Freedom is a Voice Away:

Protest for the end of SARS
President Muhammadu Buhari Meet, VP, Prof Yemi Osinbajo and IGP

One reality that lined the year was the many agitations and protests that took place around the world.
From the United States to Hong Kong to the Philippines, down to Nigeria, and other parts of the world, people, in unity, stood against oppression, bad governance and police brutality.

This protest came at the right: A time when the world was humbled by a pandemic.

In Nigeria, most especially, there was a need to “Sorosoke” (speak up) for the government to ear the displeasure of young Nigerians about the Criminal Justice System (Police Brutality), but also to bad governance.

Though the EndSARS protest ended in Lekki Massacre, the protest was a merging of the voices of Nigerians calling for freedom from oppression. This voices became a roar that sent chills down the spine of those at the corridor of power.

You have to be Hungry:

Success is hard to come by. You have to dig down to the earth crust to get it. It is not a Christmas gift you get from Santa, you can’t wish it to reality, you have to be hungry for it. I mean desperate hunger; Hunger that cannot be quenched by a plate of jollof rice. A hunger you can’t satisfy.

Even big dreams can’t bring you fulfilment, only a determined heart and hardworking hands can guarantee such.


I will like to know what you learnt from your ordeal in 2020 in the comment section. Please share also.

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About Author

Joshua Oyenigbehin is an introvert who is passionate about Storytelling, writing, and teaching. He sees his imagination as an unsearchable world, more magical than a fairyland. He has written a novel and working on another

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