It's the fourth of the last five weeks left in the first fifth of the 21st century. Hey! I finally got it right. Yes, it's the 21st century, as it has been for 20 years. As I said last week, old habits die hard. I'll probably make the mistake of calling this century the 20th for the rest of my life (70 percent of which, at this writing, has been lived in the 20th century).
While on one hand Y2K may not seem so long ago, in this first fifth of the millennium, much has changed. Google has gone from being a start-up to a monopoly. At the time, Facebook was four years in the future and now it, too, is being challenged as a monopoly. Imagine! Those two companies alone have gone from barely a thing to behemoths running (some might change that to ruining) our lives. Twenty years ago, people could still smoke in a restaurant at the table next to you. You probably haven't used a phone book in a while or heard a modem squeal. When was the last time you actually used a camera to take a photo, not your phone?
In just the last five years we have seen a significant jump in world population; it increased by 5 percent. In 2013, the U.S. crossed a demographic threshold when more than half of newborns were non-white, and five years ago, white students in public K-12 were the minority. Another recent change in the U.S.?: Legally recognized same-sex marriage became law in all 50 states in 2015.
Time continues its relentless march whether it is in centuries, fifths of centuries, or just moments -- big ones, small ones, even seemingly insignificant ones, but it marches with you or without you. So, I fervently encourage you to be part of the parade. That said, during this penultimate week of 2020, take five for yourself. Count your blessings in the midst of what might feel like a cursed year. Give yourself a high five for getting this far. You did it. It has not been easy. This is a moment to pause.
May this week of Christmas bring hope, peace and good will to you...times 5.