Is 2020 the year when everything falls apart?

We must not become desensitised to the world around us.

Is 2020 the year when everything falls apart?

As the end of February fast approaches, it's hard not to feel a little exhausted and a little apprehensive.

As this decade kicked off, it was billed as the roaring 20s. Personally, I could do with things slowing down a little.

We're grappling with a weird combination of an overload of information and events, together with a sense that the old rules don't apply. We're living in a new normal - a perfect storm fake news, alternative facts, and a disregard for the political and social norms that defined the post-war years of the 20th century. Plus, we're on the brink of a viral pandemic. Is it time to hit the panic button?

I have to constantly remind myself not to become desensitised to violence, to not become desensitised to people being incredibly cruel to each other. We're living in a world in which there are so many horrific stories of human suffering that it’s impossible to comprehend them all, impossible to feel empathy for them all, impossible to remember what all of the fighting is for.

Headlines about everyday atrocities are fighting for air-time with global geopolitical meltdown and reality TV stars who seem to get a lot of coverage for not doing very much - all amidst a world seemingly past the tipping-point of environmental disaster.

As the oxygen is sucked out of the room by the swirl of chaos that dominates our social media feeds, it's hard not to feel powerless, vulnerable. Our day-to-day lives begin to feel meaningless. Our friends, our family, our community - we all feel smaller, and somehow less safe.

It's becoming increasingly hard to define good versus bad, us versus them. It's increasingly hard to understand how to make some sort of progress to a better future when the ugly truth is that the call is coming from inside the house.

Our history is defined by war and violence, peace is not guaranteed. We must work together to create the world in which we wish to live. Each moment we have with our family and friends is precious and must be treasured.

We must try not to become desensitised to the world around us.

Follow Gareth Johnson on Twitter

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