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Lessons Learned

This year has been a trying year for most. I’ve watched the news and kept informed on the latest ongoing segment happenings of the coronavirus pandemic. People have been losing jobs, struggling to pay rent, struggling to put food on the table.


Movie theaters have been closed. Restaurants and bars are going out of business. It’s just such a huge discrepancy compared with the good times from early 2020. A lot has changed in these 9 or so months since the pandemic hit the USA and across the world.


It’s been a tough year to many people. And, personally, I am lucky that my business has not experienced the downturn that many of my fellow community members have experienced. It’s just been a rough year, and hopefully the vaccine at the end of the tunnel will help make 2021 a more palatable year for all.


It’s times like these when we must band together and realize that it takes a group effort to help bring the virus under control. I sincerely thank all the essential workers for making our lives that much easier and breathable.


From the nurses, to the truck drivers, to the supermarket cashiers, to the farmers keeping food stocked in the markets, to the postal workers delivering mail. It was a total group effort, and I am so appreciative of these fellow community members putting in their time and effort to provide genuine service to society at large.


And I thank all the people that took the social distancing measures seriously, wore masks in public, and genuinely avoided large gatherings to keep the virus under control. It’s a testament to the dedication of everyone during this trying time.


I learned that no one is truly independent and living on their own. As an individual of a larger part of society, we must all put in our efforts to make the world a more livable place. The pandemic has shed light on the interconnectedness of us all. How one person’s actions can affect the livelihood of a multitude of families.


No one is truly alone. Everyone is dependent on others to survive and to co-exist. It’s truly remarkable that we are all in this together.


I’ve also realized that there are people out there who work hard to deliver good to society. To the healthcare workers that are brave enough to shoulder time at hospitals and long-term care facilities, thank you so much for your efforts and courage.


To the people that spent their time and energy towards developing a coronavirus vaccine, thank you. To the volunteers who sacrificed their own bodies to be placed in clinical trials for the good of humanity, thank you. To everyone who did their own part to show appreciation for the essential workers out there, thank you.


By no means is this pandemic over. The United States of America has been the hardest hit throughout the world, and the winter season has exacerbated the dangers of the pandemic throughout the country. The vaccine is finally here, but it will take some time (months) before the general public is able to get vaccinated and things will return to a form of normalcy like back in early 2020.


So, we must still stay vigilant. We must still practice social distancing. We must still listen to the invaluable advice of our health care experts. We must realize the interconnectedness of us all and realize that our actions affect a wide array of people. We are not living in a bubble. What we do and say do have real consequences. And we should not take them for granted.


So, thank you truly to those of you who have made remarkable progress and achievements during these months. Thank you to everyone who made a positive impact in their community. Made a small donation to sensitive groups in need. Helped share their time and energy to make their families that much better off. Thank you.


I think this pandemic has shown that the human race does have the power and strength to band together and achieve great things when our minds are put forth together.


Personally, I am thankful for the Toastmasters community for adapting to these trying times and moving face-to-face meetings over to a Zoom online format. Toastmasters is still going strong this year, with meetings and contests and conferences, only it is now virtual like almost everything else this year. But, it still remains a powerful forum for members to develop their speaking, communication, and leadership skills. And I am thankful for the community leaders whom work tirelessly for keeping this a forum for personal development.


I would like to thank my family for banding together and doing their part for making my life a little bit easier and feeling a little bit more loved thru this trying time. I would like to thank my friends for showing their support for each other and wishing small words of support for people in need. I would like to thank a lot of people. The gratitude is endless.


And I realize that I have a lot to be thankful for. That I have a roof over my head. That I have food on the table. That my business is so far financially sound. That I am not facing eviction like many New York City tenants. That I still have my family and loved ones here on this Earth. That I personally have not contracted the coronavirus (knock on wood). That I am personally considered well-off, and should spend some time donating my funds to the needy when possible. I shouldn’t take my position nor resources for granted, and will make sure that I use it in a proper manner.


And, as a whole, I learned that people truly are resilient in the face of danger and adversity. Sometimes, it’s adversity that makes us rise to the top and show us the beauty of the human race as a collective. When we are together, we can achieve remarkable things. We have it within us all to look out for our fellow man, to support the community, to do one small thing each day to make the lives of our society members that much better.

We have it within us to progress together.

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