2020: A year worth having


By Segun Ige

‘Everything that may abide the fire, ye shall make it go through the fire, and it shall be clean.” So says the Holy Writ which, to Charles Spurgeon, means “everything that can abide the fire – everything that is precious – must be tried. Be sure of this – that which will not stand trial is not worth having.”

As I’m writing, quoting Spurgeon, I perceive that everything and anything “which will not stand trial is not worth having,” at all. Then it occurs to me, by the way, that even before dabbling in a relationship, one should “try” such a relationship before ever thinking of courtship (or any other “ship”). And if the relationship is precious and valuable, well it would surely stand the furnace and become furnished unto every good work.

On December 31, 2019’s Watch Night Service, people had a great deal of expectations, to be sure, of the year 2020. Literally, 2020 seems to be exceptional probably, for one thing, because of the repetition of the numeric value – “20.”

For another thing, it’s a year which would make people, ideally, become resolute and visionary with their prospects and possibilities in life. It’s to this end I find the year worth having: a year which has enduringly passed through the fires and waters of trial – and has proven a year worth living!

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When I think about the ups and downs and ins and outs of the year – in general, the coronavirus pandemic and, in particular, the #EndSARS protest – again I say that the year’s worth having and living, because such a year that could abode hardship and hardness has better positioned us as to how we should be living our lives. The visionary landscape and enterprise of the year is largely considerably incomparable and eternal.

In reality, what’s the “2020 vision,” moving forward? Clearly, the vision – or the “computer vision” – is boundless, cutting across every area and sector of life. What seems to be of utmost significance, to me, is the education sector. Education, indeed, is the bedrock of nation-building and backbone of people-building. Considering the impact of the COVID-19 on learning, generally speaking, is a constant reminder of the integration of technology in our everyday life.

When I examine it, furthermore, the online learning sort of seems “portable” to provide solutions to the traditional, monolithic, “paper-and-pencil” methodology of learning. Alternatively, moreover, it’s showed pupils, students, teachers and lecturers that rather than meet physically to reach a consensus on some issue or other, we could and should hold such meetings via computer-assisted applications. Most commonly, the Zoom and the Skype have proven efficient and environmentally friendly to matters as such.

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In the political realm, of course, this has not been counter-productive. In the Oval Office, for instance, President Donald Trump does not have to necessarily address, in person, what he might deem the payola, log-rolling and pork-barrelling of the 2020 election.

A few tweets would do, but even so, a one-or-so-hour virtual meeting might suffice.

Culminatorily, the impact of COVID is to bring back better the customary technological facilities that would fast-track the decision makings of/and the decision problems of leadership.

In the case of religion, we have as yet worship services being substantially mediated via the YouTube, for example. Preferably, physical gatherings are proving tremendously inconvenient.

Because I’d terribly got accustomed to having radio services, in my experience, when the lockdown was still really severe, it did take me a week or so to get used to the “old normal.” I’d been grossly addicted to the “new normal,” in fact.

In public and social spheres, nonetheless, social distancing and hand-washing techniques of containing the pandemic are still rather strictly adhered to. Health-wise, we’re becoming consciously or unconsciously “clean” as we have to, even when not necessary, wash or sanitise our hands. I do not think this landmark would soon experience erasure of any kind.

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It’s been indelibly implanted and imprinted in our state of consciousness. One might seem odd – I mean, outlandish – not putting on a pair face mask. Or you get to a commercial firm without wearing masks and washing hands – you’re simply denied of any transaction whatsoever you might want to make. That’s the new norm. That’s the sine qua non. That’s the grundnorm.

That is the vision 2020 has made us realise, come 2021. But beyond 2021, the vision would enable us cope and tackle potentially unseen problems that’d be surfacing in the country.

We’ve got to be firmly tech-proof, first, to end educational epidemics. Secondly, and far more importantly, we should encourage problem-solving scientific innovations, on the one hand, and ensure we embrace the interworkings and networkings of interdisciplinary research, on the other.

Since we have made the year go through fire and it’s proven livable, it’s now in our onus to conscientiously and continually build “gold, silver, precious stones” on the foundational and fundamental lessons and principles laid down by the year.

Ige, an English graduate, wrote via [email protected]

Vanguard News Nigeria

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