It isn’t often that I am at a loss for words. When I am, however, I look to my past for inspiration. In particular, the work of American writer Ernest Hemingway never fails to get my creative engine into gear; “There is nothing to writing,” he once mused, “all you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
Certainly, Hemingway had a way with words. And yet I cannot help but wonder how he might have described 2020 – a year that, quite frankly, may almost be beyond words.
As pointed objects, words pierced our collective body-informatik over the past 12 months, with headlines that phased-in phrases such as the great reset, election fraud, institutional crisis, climate change, racial injustice, wildfires and more.
And then there were the “C” words – Coronavirus, COVID-19 – terms and conditions that, whether we like it or not, we have all signed off on.
Interestingly, this year’s other global pandemic – fake news – has only strengthened my own personal and professional resolve to continue to produce a publication of the highest ethical standards; honesty, transparency and accountability now sit alongside engagement, entertainment and education as the sure ‘n’ steady stars by which we steer this ship.
As such, our core cause remains to build and launch other types of ships – relationships. Break down that word; relation-ships – implying vital vessels that carry a most precious cargo of ideas and emotions back and forth between peoples. Those thoughts and feelings then beget conversations which, in-turn, inspire action.
To that end, the proverbial silver lining amidst the clouds oy 2020 is that – despite our physical distancing – there has never been a time in the history of our species when we have connected with one another so easily and quickly. With a myriad of on-demand social media options available at our fingertips, and techno-methodologies for communication advancing at an exponential rate, we continue to talk and share with those around us, and around the world, like never before.
I won’t go so far as to say that it doesn’t matter what we are talking about and sharing – some things are, perhaps, better left unsaid – only that the act and art of connection is being exercised and, like any healthy habit, brings a bevy of benefits to those seeking to exorcise the demons of disinformation and indifference.
The irony, of course, is that amidst the murky morass of recent months, a greater sense of clarity is emerging about who we are, where we are at, what we want and need, and how we are going to get there. It is easy to look back and see how the dots connected to bring us where we are today, however it takes a leap of faith – in ourselves and in life – to trust that the dots in front of us will continue to connect.
Hindsight of another sort would serve us well during these tumultuous times as well; hard-earned life-lessons shaped the progressive principles of a people that prospered 2,500 years ago along Europe’s western shoreline, where women enjoyed equal rights, those of different colour, background and beliefs were welcomed into a culture of inclusion, and communities worked together for the common good.
And while our ancient Celtic ancestors may not have left us many words per se, they did leave us maps and legends. Charting our future with foresight, we would be wise to look to our past for inspiration.
Stephen Patrick Clare
CEO & Editor-in-Chief