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The 2020 perspective: Learnings for the year to come

By Opinion Time of article published Jan 5, 2021

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By: Nthabiseng Moloi

As we turn the page on an unprecedented year, now is as good a time as any to put the events of 2020 into perspective, and to reflect on some of the positive take-outs from the past twelve months.

While the pandemic shook us to our foundations, forcing us indoors and altering our day-to-day lives in ways we never thought possible, it also helped us appreciate what we have, and prioritise the things that really count.

Over the course of 2020 we grew to appreciate our jobs, our teachers, our doctors and our nurses. We’ve grown more mindful of the small privileges like taking a walk or stopping for a chat with a ‘nosy’ neighbour. We’ve realised that health is a non-negotiable, and that nothing can substitute a real-life get together.

On the other hand, we’ve come to realise that we can get by with very little, and that frivolous indulgences and luxuries have little bearing in a world overcome by chaos. We’ve come to rediscover the satisfaction of life’s simplest pleasures and learned to think twice before spending unnecessarily.

That said, 2020 has also shown us that there are certain things we can’t go without - the cars that symbolise life’s journeys, the laptops that have become our new way of connecting with loved ones, and the homes that become our sanctuaries in times of crisis.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and during those immobile months, we came to appreciate our cars more than ever before. So much more than a way to get from A to B, our vehicles also represent our independence, offering us the freedom to live our way. Not only that, but they’re also the setting for countless memories – dropping our kids off for their first day of school, singing at the top of our lungs during a road trip and treasuring precious one-on-one time with our teenagers in transit.

Our laptops too have become fundamental elements in our lives, enabling us to bridge the physical divide imposed by 2020 and to continue our social lives in virtual form. They brought us closer when we were forced apart and inspired exceptional creativity - from virtual meetings to online weddings and braais, our laptops represented a lifeline in a year that otherwise would have been characterised by solitude.

Whereas once our homes might have felt like transit stations, in 2020 they gained new significance, as we spent more time within our private sanctuaries. We were presented with opportunities to change our home layouts, which made each of us an interior designer. Niggling issues that once might have been put off took on new significance, and we came to appreciate and savour the solace we found in our respective refuges.

2020 taught us that certain ‘things’ are more important than others and should be protected at all costs. In unpredictable times, it’s more vital to ensure that our most important assets – those that offer us freedom when simple liberties are restricted – are covered.

By insuring the things that matter most, we not only protect ourselves from unexpected financial difficulties, but we also ensure that our memories, our freedom and our very ways of life remain uncompromised. When we look back at 2020 – and perhaps more importantly, when we look ahead to 2021 – it’s important to take stock of what really matters and to protect the fundamental elements of our lives. Because while this unforgettable year taught us that there are things beyond our control, it also reminded us that others shouldn’t be left to chance.

Nthabiseng Moloi is the Head of Marketing and Brand at MiWay Insurance

PERSONAL FINANCE

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