New Year, New Hope! Photo by Javon Swaby.

2020: Wow, What A Year!

Because we can’t spell revolution without evolution… We find inspiration among the ashes of a chaotic year.

This past year of change will surely go down as one of the more interesting and impactful in recent history.  Certainly, there were many trying topics and moments, and the reverberations of 2020 will be felt for decades to come. However, the trials and hardships faced by society also provided ample opportunity to demonstrate our resilience, creativity, awareness and humanity.

“THERE IS HOPE AFTER DESPAIR AND MANY SUNS AFTER DARKNESS.”

~Rumi

It is nearly impossible to summarize all that transpired during the year. Many events shook the world and will forever define 2020 as a year of change. But from challenges come growth, and this gives us hope of better things to come.

The Crises

wildfires

The year began with some of the worst wildfires in Australia’s history, which destroyed over 46 million acres of land. Later in the year, California wildfires rage, burning nearly 4.5 million acres of forest. Fueled by dry heat and extreme temperatures, both of these record-setting events showcase the volatility of climate change. 

global pandemic. Photo by Anna Shvets.

Still in January, the World Health Organization announces the coronavirus outbreak in China, and the first COVID-19 case is confirmed in the United States. By March, the WHO declares COVID-19 a global pandemic. Countries around the world begin to lockdown, and the highly-anticipated Tokyo Summer Olympics are cancelled. The disease goes on to kill over 1.6 million people worldwide within the year.

protests for BLM. Photo by Kelly Lacy.

Between the months of February and May, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd are killed in the U.S. The undue deaths of these African-Americans set off months of worldwide protests for social justice and police reform. Compounding this racial tension, the pandemic has a disproportionate effect on diverse communities, with Blacks, Asians and Latinos affected the most. This stimulates even more pleas for equality for people of color.

The Politics

Governments and their policies also see transformation during this year of change. Internationally, revolution goes beyond racism. Belarus sees political protests calling for democratic leadership and economic reform. Hong Kong also erupts into protests after China votes to impose strict national security legislation. Costa Rica legalizes same-sex marriage, a first among Central American countries. And a huge explosion on the docks of Beirut which kills more than 200 people and upends thousands of families and businesses, sparks calls for more reform and accountability within the government.

In November, the U.S. Presidential elections see the largest voter turn-out in American history.  Joe Biden wins the contest, with Kamala Harris making history as the first woman and woman of color as Vice President. Thus draws a close to the Trump era.

Biden and Harris win. By Biden-Harris Transition - buildbackbetter.gov, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=97417554

The Good-Byes

On top of the many deaths related to COVID-19, we also said goodbye to a number of icons. Tragedy occurs in January as international sport icon, Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others die in a helicopter accident. Then throughout the year we also see the passing of actress Naya Rivera, musician Eddie Van Halen, acting legend Sean Connery, beloved TV hosts Regis Philbin and Alex Trebek, influential Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and most shockingly, actor Chadwick Boseman.

Finally in December, the first COVID-19 vaccines are administered in the U.K., followed swiftly by the U.S.  Although the virus continues to surge across the United States, the vaccine brings a global sense of optimism.

The Hope

Our hearts and prayers sincerely go out to all affected by the myriad of tragic events, especially by the loss of a loved one. Nonetheless, life goes on, and so we must do the same. With an optimistic heart, we look to the positives and hope to keep the momentum going.

Social and political awareness are at an all-time high, so we hope that people remain engaged. And a changing of guards provides an opportunity to turn a new leaf. So we look forward to renewed and stimulated discourse with the wish that communities can find middle ground and work towards common goals and common good. We praise the resilience of front-line workers and teachers who have had to take on new roles and find innovative ways to get it done. We remain hopeful that revolutionary breakthroughs in pharmaceutical and medical research better prepare us for future outbreaks. And beyond it all, we admire the strength and compassion displayed by neighbors reaching out to help each other in times of need. Hardships are, well, hard… but they also tend to bring out a collective push for humanity and growth.

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”

~Desmond Tutu

We are also inspired by all the ways that people found to stimulate themselves during times of social distancing and lockdowns. We can’t help but notice that new creativity is emerging.  Home gyms and inventive workouts abound.  Home-cooked recipes (and atrocities) are being shared much to our delight and entertainment.  New art and music, including new artists and musicians, are bubbling to the surface as people spend more time investigating their own forms of expression.  And likewise, compassion and individualism are spreading as people take a moment to examine what really makes them tick.   

Our Journey

It was not an easy year to start a new business, but Kaldzar is humbled to say: we did it!  Much like new hobbies and interests that were discovered by so many in 2020, we planted a seed and nurtured it. But during this tumultuous year of change, we definitely could not have done it without you. So thanks for coming along for the ride!

New Growth. Photo by Akil Mazumder.

Identity

First, we set out to explore the human experience… to examine and expand our identity, our self, and our mind. We are excited to have found topics that make us think about who we are, why we exist, and how to be our best. Quite honestly, I’m amazed at all we’ve covered!

Reach for the sun. Photo by Clement Eastwood.

We examined how the brain experiences consciousness and dreams, delved into phobia, and also questioned if hedonism can be healthy. We even got serious and asked “What is our life’s purpose?” and found a pleasant answer in ikigai. Further readings showed us that we don’t have to be perfect… In fact, wabi-sabi and kintsukuroi tell us to embrace our imperfections, for they are what make us unique and special.

Other life philosophies recommend that in order to relieve stress and be our healthiest selves, we should occasionally daydream. Or practice niksen and do nothing at all. And apply hygge to enjoy the simplest pleasures at home.

Indeed, we are constantly reminded to Enjoy Today, because:

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift––that is why it is called the present.”

Overall, we always encourage each to pursue your destiny but to always remember ubuntu – that “I am because we are.”

Self-Care

movement

Secondly, we discovered and shared new ways in which to nurture our physical bodies.  We challenged ourselves and our readers with a variety of exercise routines. And as gyms closed, we took to the outdoors and continued to put in the work with such as our “Total Body Burner” and this “Tabata Workout“.

Additionally, we found new ways to move. ViPR‘s dynamic movements give us a full-body workout that easily translates to daily motions. And the new, innovative GOATA training method helps us eliminate pain while making big gains.

Workouts and muscle growth need fuel and nutrients. Plus, we love to eat! Therefore, we’ve been supplying as many healthy recipes as possible. We hope you’ve enjoyed the tips we give for breakfasts (such as Breakfast Pizza and Banana Pancakes), meal prep, and sweet treats (like an Acai Bowl and Choco-Coco-Butter Cups). And of course, we invite you to join us for any of our evening feasts, from Spinach-Stuffed Chicken, to Lemon Butter Scallops and a homemade Sushi buffet.

We said we like to eat… bon appétit!

Connection

Connected. Photo by Fauxels.

Finally, but not least, we strived to encourage connection with others. We are social creatures, so we need interaction with other people to enjoy the full experience of being human. We are so happy to share music, drinks (like the Pisco Sour and Whiskey Negroni cocktails), and other fun suggestions for when you’re hanging out. If you didn’t see them already, check out some origami fun, as well as some tips on how to craft your own paper snowflakes.

The Thanks!

Again, we could not have done any of the above without the support of our readers, followers, families and fans. So we thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Thank you! Photo by Raj Vaishnaw.

We will be taking a break from publishing over the next week or so, but we look forward to catching up and continuing our journey with you in the new year. Please check for new content beginning January 8th.  

Until then, please (re-)explore our various posts and let us know what you’d like to see more of in 2021.  We’d love to hear your suggestions! Send them to contact@kaldzar.com.  

And of course, we wish you the happiest (and safest) New Year! 


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Dave Hughes

Editor and Contributing Author at Kaldzar

Certified Biologist and Data Scientist
Constantly curious; Curiously compassionate
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