2020 has been quite the year.

On top of a viral pandemic, in which people have gotten sick, people have lost their jobs, have lost friends, co-workers and even family members to disease or suicide. Fear has taken root in our society, gnawing on our comforts and dragging our complacencies into the light.

Stepping outside your door is mired in even more unknowns these days. Just like that, our world has changed so much.

Most will argue that it hasn’t been for the better.

Turning on the television only serves to instill more uncertainty and more confusion to those who might be seeking relief. So many pundits and experts have differing opinions on what we should or shouldn’t do. When you add to this steaming pot of ingredients all the serious national events that have occurred around our country this year, you have a recipe for something that tastes just awful.

Now, the holiday season is upon us. The weather has slowly changed as our everyday worries have consumed our attentions. We barely notice the leaves changing colors around us. The warmth of summer has given way to the cooler breezes of fall.

There is one thing I want to remind everyone. It is something I feel many of us have forgotten about, especially in 2020. It seems simple to remember, but it takes work and effort.

Remember love.

I can hear the dismissive snorts and see the eye rolls already. Remember love, you say?

Yes! REMEMBER LOVE.

Love is the driving force behind each and every one of us. Love is the tool we need to employ to shine a light into the darkness of these times. Maybe I’m being cliché or corny.

You may be right.

But here are my three reasons why remembering to love is our greatest weapon against the ails of 2020.

When we see the worst in those around us, when fear and doubt give way to hopelessness…remember love.

First, remember to love yourself. You are not here by happenstance or by accident. You are important.

Remember that the person looking back at you in the mirror is a strong individual who has been through worse. You can do anything you set your mind to. You may have co-workers counting on you on that next Zoom call. You may have family members and children depending on you in these times of adversity.

Remembering to love yourself can be a hard thing to do. We pour so much of ourselves out for others that we sometimes forget to refill our own capacity. You can’t help others if you aren’t able to stand against the turbulence of life with your own two feet.

You can do this and it’s so vitally important. Love yourself, folks.

Second, remember to love those around you. Yes, even the strangers shopping with you in the grocery aisle. Even the selfish driver who thinks he’s more important that everyone else on the road and cuts you off.

If there is one thing this year has shown me, it is many people have only been thinking about themselves. Think about those who bought out all the toilet paper earlier this year. Think about those scenes we all saw of adults throwing tantrums about face mask policies in grocery stores. Selfishness is the natural enemy of love. If it’s all about me, then I have no time for anyone else.

This holiday season, let’s put someone else ahead of our own desires. These don’t need to be groundbreaking actions, either. Simply telling someone how important they are to you today is you remembering to love that person. Trust me, people need to be told how important they are in these times. Remember to love those around you, friends.

Lastly, remember to love the upcoming holidays. With the way this year has gone, it so easy to say the holidays are ruined or feel you have nothing to celebrate. Folks, please don’t miss this opportunity to celebrate with those in our “bubble.”. We need the holidays this year, more than ever. Remember that childish, youthful feeling you feel when you see the Christmas lights, or fake snow bubbling though the air! These days of holiday spirit are exactly what we need to replenish our souls and move with hope into the new year. Remember to love these coming weeks, family.

When we see the worst in those around us, when fear and doubt give way to hopelessness…remember love.

Love is the answer we need always. Love will continue to save us, no matter what we face next as a nation.

Tell your family how much you love them. Tell your friends how much you love them. Tell a stranger how much they are loved today.

And remember, I love you all, too!

 

Matthew Scott ’07 ’11MS is a sergeant with the UCF Police Department. He can be reached at [email protected].

The UCF Forum is a weekly series of opinion columns from faculty, staff and students who serve on a panel for a year. A new column is posted each Wednesday on UCF Today and then broadcast on WUCF-FM (89.9) between 7:50 and 8 a.m. Sunday. Opinions expressed are those of the columnists, and are not necessarily shared by the University of Central Florida.