The year 2020 has sucked. It really has. I’m not being negative, just stating simple facts. We’ve had so much going on this year! The Scientific American, published a list on the record-breaking natural disasters from this year that includes hurricanes, wildfires, rain and flooding, and heat. Sixteen natural disasters in the US alone that caused at least $1 billion in damage.
According to the CDC, In the US alone, we’ve had over 10.6 million cases of Covid-19, resulting in over 243,000 deaths. This pandemic has strained the finances of families, closed so many small businesses and added to the stress and anxiety levels of most people.
Saying Farewell To Those That Passed Away In 2020
We’ve lost a lot of national celebrities, some who were heroes to many. Kobe Bryant, along with his young daughter were killed in a helicopter crash. Ruth Bader Ginsburg died at age 87. Black Panther Star Chadwick Boseman died of cancer. Alex Trebek from Jeopardy died at age 80. Sean Connery died in October at age 90. Eddie Van Halen died of cancer at 65. Civil rights icon and congressman, John Lewis passed. Peter Green, Fleetwood Mac founder died at age 73. There were many more. Of course, celebrities that we’re fans of die each year, but the ones from this year just seemed to hit a little harder than most, didn’t they?
Some Of The Challenges Experienced In 2020
This is, of course, election year also. After an absolutely crazy campaign, we now have a new president-elect. I’m really not sure what is going to happen in January, how well the switch-over is going to be handled. No matter which side of the political divide you’re on, it’s been a stressful and difficult time for everyone who is involved with or cares at all about the political fight that’s been happening.
The Black Lives Matter movement, LGBTQIA+ rights, women’s equality… these are just some of the things that we’ve seen make the news more and more often lately. Riots in Minneapolis after the killing of George Floyd kicked off massive national protests, some which included looting, rioting and burning of buildings and cars, although it’s been reported that 93% of protests were peaceful and non-destructive. More shootings of black men by police have kept those protests going, even through the pandemic and “stay at home” orders.
For many people that I know, this has been an especially rough year. Many family members lost due to Covid-19, among other things. I know that for me, it’s been rough. My mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. My dad has been in and out of the hospital for various things. I’ve had a bit more problems with my health. As I write this, I’m in isolation for Covid-19 myself. My daughter is in her senior year of high school and it doesn’t look at all like she’s been expecting and looking forward to. Her college visits are now virtual, dances and big events have been cancelled or rescheduled.
Kindness In The Midst Of The Turmoil
But…. we have to be able to look past all of this. Because there’s good going on, too. Online friends that I don’t even know in real life have dropped off soup and juice for me while I’m sick. People have brought over meals so my daughter doesn’t have to cook dinner each night and still stay on top of her demanding homework load.
I’ve seen people go out of their way for neighbors they know are in a vulnerable population. Offering to run errands and do the grocery shopping. People are shopping more local and doing more delivery and take-out orders when they can to help the small businesses and restaurants that have had to close a few times because of the pandemic.
I’ve seen kindness and thoughtfulness and generosity and humor come out of this. And this is how history will remember us, if more of us practice those things.
How Direct Sellers Are Meeting the Challenges With Compassion
The other thing that I, in my line of work, have loved seeing, is everyone pivoting their businesses to work with the restrictions. In the direct sales industry, more people are opening up other ways of making income from their business, they’re switching from home parties to online parties. Moving one on one presentations and meeting with people to Zoom meetings. Team meetings and conventions are being held online. We’re making the most of it.
And we’re doing that without taking advantage, for the most part. I have heard a few stories about consultants badgering people to skip their electric bill to purchase a kit. People who have lost their job and whose spouse has also. But if they use the only money they have left to purchase a kit, it can save their family. Consultants who are losing the loss of their “regular” job to try to guilt friends into purchasing products they really don’t want or need.
But, this is NOT the norm. The norm has been consultants offering all their commissions from a party to a GoFundMe for someone who desperately needs it. It’s them volunteering their time and giving away products in auctions to benefit those who are struggling. It’s veteran consultants taking even more time out of their own busy schedule to help newer ones get a good start on their business.
From everything I’ve seen of direct sales reps, and I’ve seen a LOT… we are some of the most resilient people out there. Think about it… we have a business in an industry that is labeled by many as a scam or pyramid scheme. Every day, we face negativity and sometimes even insults about what we’re doing to make a better life for ourselves and help others. And we keep going and we prove the naysayers wrong.
What better people to keep things going in this rotten year, then?
My Challenge to You
So I’m challenging each and every one of you, be the person this year needs. Go out of your way to help someone. Donate money to causes important to you, if you’re in a position to. If not, donate your time and expertise. Spend some extra time with your kids, who are probably stressed out about this year too, especially going into the holidays. Shop local and small businesses whenever possible, help those other small business owners stay afloat. Be kind, be thoughtful, be generous and be empathetic.
Because I KNOW this is the type of person we have in this industry. And with those things, we can get through this trying year and come out better people, better communities and a better society on the other side.
“CDC COVID Data Tracker.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#cases_casessper100klast7days.
Thompson, Andrea. “A Running List of Record-Breaking Natural Disasters in 2020.” Scientific American, Scientific American, 9 Oct. 2020, www.scientificamerican.com/article/a-running-list-of-record-breaking-natural-disasters-in-2020.
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