2020, the Year of Reformation: An Essay by a Former TYS Youth

5th of June 2020


The following current events commentary is provided by a youth formerly in Trinity Youth Services’ Short-Term Residential Program. After graduating the program and high school, he began studying in college. This youth recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree and is now pursuing his master’s. Similar to the experience of seniors around the world, this youth had to overcome the struggles of the COVID-19 pandemic after classes went virtual and illness affected the family. This youth has learned perseverance and continues to learn and adapt in our ever-changing world with empathy and compassion for others. Below is some insightful perspective and encouragement they have offered:

The outbreak of the coronavirus and unjust deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor are making this year exceptionally hard for our country. We are having to reconcile years of racial inequalities as well as the coronavirus, a vicious disease that has taken the lives of many.

Indeed, this current landscape is difficult for all of us. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Hard times make better people and I believe that these dual crises can help us achieve antibodies for the coronavirus and tackle systemic racism. The golden rule is a great practice that we can all exercise in today’s times: Treating others the way you want to be treated. Do not cough without a mask unless you would want someone doing that to you or a vulnerable loved one. In the same spirit, do not sit idly by during racial injustice if you wouldn’t want the same bystander effect to happen to you had you possessed a different creed/nationality/skin color.

For those of us who struggle to see the light in all this now, consider the human timeline over history. We can take comfort in the fact that the natural progress of humanity has favored civility, equality and tolerance over time. We have come a long way but we still have a long way to go. We must accept that we fall within a human condition that requires struggle to achieve what we believe is right. Today, it will take everything we’ve got to discuss and implement anti-racist solutions and cutting-edge medical advances to mend what has been broken in 2020. Again, this will take time but I am confident that solidarity, cooperation and a common human spirit will guide us to better times. So here’s to 2020, the year of reformation! A reformation in the way we value the health of those around us as well as those in society who have been denied justice for so long.

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