2020: Buried or planted?

And finally, 2020 has come to an end.

In the last year, every day was filled with twists and turns. Government changes, MCOs, SOPs, WFH, the list went on and on. In this whirlwind, the weeks and months seemed to stretch so long. And yet, now that we are at the end of 2020, it feels like it all went by so fast and I could hardly process it.

At the beginning of the pandemic, every business seemed like it was going to go down in flames. The early MCO days were exhausting – our team spent so many hours ensuring that our customers felt safe ordering from us, ensuring that our service professionals followed safe protocols, could pass roadblocks, and would not be arrested for providing essential services. 

All around us, so many small business owners could not operate, and along the way many of them decided to close down. Some of these businesses have existed for decades. Many people got salary cuts, lost their jobs, lost their livelihoods, and it was just a depressing time of uncertainty.

It has been a hard, gruelling, heart-breaking year.

But it has also been a year of resilience, hope, and change.

People discovered new ways of earning an income, or contributing to society. Ex-airline crew began to offer food catering, photographers began to offer photo-editing courses online, pest control professionals learned how to do disinfection services.

People started learning new skills. They created hydroponic vegetable gardens at home, did more home DIY, and even used their skills to earn a part-time income from home. In some cases, the income was so good they left their day jobs to pursue their new business.

People began to help each other, not just by donating to charities and orphan homes, but by buying and supporting home-based businesses. They started buying from small businesses, promoting local businesses on their social media pages, and sharing the good reviews and contact details of their trusted suppliers. Small businesses providing unique products and services began to grow and flourish. 

In this crazy pandemic, people began to break through and grow personally and professionally. And it’s been really heart-warming seeing the strength, resilience and unbreakable spirit of Malaysians under pressure.

I finally understood this quote:

“Sometimes when you’re in a dark place you think you’ve been buried, but you’ve actually been planted.”

Christine Caine

The year 2020 may be ending, but we’re not out of the woods yet. 2021 will undoubtedly throw new challenges at us. But I’m optimistic about our future, because we have planted the seeds and our shoots are preparing to grow. In 2021, we will have courage, hope and heart to reach towards the sunlight.

May you, too, continue to grow your skills, passion and resilience to serve and shine a light on those around you.

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