It’s been an interesting year, don’t you think?

As I watched the Swede wrestling team do battle under the drop-light at Gothenburg High School last week, I was struck by how much these kids, this town, has overcome in the past (checks calendar) ten months.

In a way, wrestling is tremendously representative of the battles we have all waged in the past year.

So many decisions have been made about sending kids to school (or not), closing a business (or not) and gathering for any sort of social function and how it may work to ensure proper social distancing.

It’s been a lot to think about - and wrestle with - as you may worry about what the best decision is for you and your loved ones.

And as we get ready to head into a new year of many more decisions, I feel like we should all pause for a moment and think about what this past year has taught us.

I’ve seen compassion, care and concern for neighbors.

I’ve had a front-row seat to a bunch of kids who decided that they’d rather be in school with a mask on than at home and not able to be around one another.

There has been difficult conversations had and led by our community leaders faced with making decisions that are the best for all of us.

There have been parades and driveway celebrations and outdoor pep rallies and parents and teachers and administrators and a community that has gone above and beyond to ensure that there can continue to participate in school and sports and maintain some sort of ‘normal’ in our lives - even if it’s not the normal we want.

So don’t give up.

We can leave 2020 behind us, but remind yourself as you move into the new year that a little bit of compassion and understanding goes a long way, and while you may be wrestling with something, there are plenty of others who are doing the same.

Be human.

Be kind.

Be both.

Contact Rebecca Steward at rebecca@gothenburgleader.com or call 308.537.9498