After watching Google’s annual Year in Search video for 2020, I was left reflecting on

these past 12 months, ones that began completely normal before sending us into a place of

unknown and unprecedented times. With a global pandemic consuming us, people still had to face their normal hardships, most of which were amplified to great extents. Whether it be mental illness, food insecurity, unemployment, addiction, losing loved ones, or overruling fear, amongst many other difficulties, we are still here.

In Google’s video, the narrator states, “Why do we still have strength to continue?”

Following the tears streaming down my face while watching the video, I contemplated not only my troubles, but those of others. When the tears settled, I realized there is no better time for me to move forward and seek personal growth. That question was stuck in my head until I was able to appreciate that the answer is perseverance. As humans, we persevere. A life is lost, we persevere. One faces heartbreak, he or she perseveres. When we are left with no knowledge of what is next to come and fear the outcome of simply leaving our own homes, we persevere. Life as we have known it has stopped, but due to our perseverance, we have not.

One question that was typed into the search bar in the video was, “Why is empathy

important?” My entire life, I resented being an empathetic person. The burden of feeling as

though I carry every person’s hardships onto myself has felt like a heavy weight on my back that never left. After doing some research and acquiring knowledge about boundaries, I learned that it is a gift. There was never a time that I did not persevere through the pain, proof being plainly that I am still here, still breathing. Through gratitude and mindfulness, I was able to realize that there would be no better time to show empathy to every person I encounter. It is not the goal to just listen to other humans, but to truly see and hear them, to put oneself in their shoes. Not only in these times, but for all of the time we have here on this earth. Spread love, be kind, see and hear others, and know that only one baby step forward is perseverance. We will persevere.

Megan Wessely is a senior success manager at Michael Sgro Leadership Coaching. She is a junior at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York. Megan loves to dance, read, meditate, and search for ways to help others.

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