“2020 Together” by Kaleb Gongwer

Rounding out the end of the year, many of us have faced emotions and challenges that developed from COVID-19, where constant shock seems to be a normalcy. We’re eleven months into the year, and one might think, “How could it get good at this point?” There’s a cry for inspiration as we struggle through the isolated period of a pandemic. When we were all together, life felt more uncomplicated compared to the remote world we live in today. I’ve struggled to grasp hope through this entire semester due to the current state of our society, and it has deeply impacted my ability to excel in academia, organizations, social life and visioning future aspirations. But just when I thought it was a downhearted moment in time, it became the start of an uphill battle. In recent news, we have received the result of our 2020 presidential elect ticket, Joseph R. Biden and Kamala D. Harris. It’s not so much the fact that these two politicians are our future leaders, but it’s how they got to where they are now, which has sparked encouragement for me and many others to never give up ­­– even in the toughest of times.

The current state of the country leaves everyone wondering how we can make things better for ourselves. I’ve been deeply inspired by how powerfully people were able to come together during a tragic year like this. However, during a semi-shutdown of society in 2020, the American people came together to populate what is the known as largest group of voters to exist in the history of the nation. Specifically, the Biden Campaign received more votes than any other presidential campaign in the account of our elections. We’ve shown the world that we can come together when it really matters, and I sit and ponder just how great things could be if we were adamant and consistent with this push for change and growth in humanity.

This vote proved something bigger than who is going to be our next president and vice president. This vote proved that many people are still passionate, caring and want more for the world. I recognized this compassion in myself after seeing it from other people who cared the way I did when going out to vote. For many, the 2020 vote has changed perspectives regarding the future. Inspiration is underestimated when it comes to creating a successful life and work ethic. Sometimes, it takes a push to make something into reality. The simple fact that 161 million people went out with the effort to make a difference in the world, regardless of the candidate they selected, has become a motivating factor for me in cultivating dreams as reality. So, we’ve uncovered who our nation has selected as the next commander in chief and right-hand woman; I want people to digest why this specific selection has inspirations in itself.

The people have elected leaders of two different generations, histories and backgrounds: someone who has lost a child to war, who is also overcoming a speaking disability; and an African American woman, a South Asian American woman, and a woman, period. The presidential ticket that our nation selected knows nothing but obstacles and battles, which I think is reflected by many new and relevant issues that appeared on this year’s ballot. I think it’s undeniably important to recognize that we’ve never seen such a diverse and all-encompassing duo work together to better the state of our nation. This is a position of power that is now proven reachable to more than just the privileged white man. The metaphor of a glass ceiling to those who are ‘different’in our union has now been cracked, and it could quite possibly be the way out of the isolation and division we’ve faced for so long.

If you’re someone who is struggling in trying to find hope, inspiration or motivation: stop and take a look around. Notice the passion in the people around you for something better. Notice the hard work and efforts given to make the best out of what we’ve been dealt. Notice how far you’ve come to get where you are in this current moment. People are so powerful, and the eleventh month of 2020 has proven that we really can come together even when it feels we are split. We can dream big, even if the odds aren’t in our favor. The endless compassion I’ve seen in our country this month has restored my faith in myself and in humanity. I’ve changed worry into excitement for the future, and I hope after reading this that you have faith in your future as well. Together, we’re going to make it out of this blur riding high.

Kaleb Gongwer is junior majoring in communication studies and the V.P. of Social Affairs for Scripps PRSSA. Follow him @MTVkaleb!

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