By Briana Brady, Opinion Editor–

The first few days of 2020 were quite tumultuous. As I evaluate the state of the world, initially, I am dismayed. I see images of burned animals in Australia amongst ravaged homes that have been scorched by devastating flames, think of all the lives lost as the plane exploded in Tehran, hurt for all the families of soldiers awaiting the grim possibility of war, and ache for all those grieving, hungry, protesting, unsheltered, and marginalized around the world. 

I read something the other day by Mari Andrew, a writer and artist who tries to graphically make sense of the world. She blatantly noted the seeming ridiculousness of daily privileges like washing our faces while Australia burns and emphasized the challenges we face as humans of recognizing that in our joy, there is simultaneous pain, and yet, “the fact that suffering, mundanity, and beauty coincide is unbearable and remarkable.”

I think that in keeping this understanding in mind, we can move forward in 2020 despite the immense challenges that both this world, and more specifically, my generation face as we look towards our collective futures. In order to process the overwhelming turbulence of the wider world, I turn to writing. My hope is that over the course of the semester, you’ll see fellow contributors utilize this section to process their worlds, too. Together, in sharing in collective thought, I hope that we can move forward in unity toward collective action that advocates for peace and progress. 

“I despair, with an exhale. Then I refuse to despair, with an inhale…I choose to trust: first, in goodness. Then, in people I know. Then, in people I’ll never meet. Always, in myself…Then, I choose to look: not away, but toward.” – Mari Andrew

I look forward to sharing with you the thoughtful prose offered to the Echo Opinion section this semester.

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