The devastating ramifications of the global coronavirus pandemic and tragic death of George Floyd have inspired some social media users to declare that 2020 is “cancelled,” though a now-viral poem lighting up Instagram urges people to strive for a brighter future.
“What if 2020 isn’t cancelled? What if 2020 is the year we’ve been waiting for?” the poem by writer Leslie Dwight begins. “A year so uncomfortable, so painful, so scary, so raw — that it finally forces us to grow.”
“A year that screams so loud, finally awakening us from our ignorant slumber. A year we finally accept the need for change,” it continued. “Declare change. Work for change. Become the change. A year we finally band together, instead of pushing each other further apart.”
“2020 isn’t cancelled, but rather the most important year of them all.”
Posted to Instagram on June 3, Dwight’s optimistic prose has since gone viral with over 397,000 likes and more than 4,400 comments as of Friday morning.
"I think that people are feeling that lack of hope, but they need to remember it is still there,” the 23-year-old told "Today" of the tremendous public reaction. “I totally understand getting to that point of depression or having a tough time just in general.”
Though fans have praised Dwight’s hopeful words as “powerful,” “beautiful,” and “important” in “showing us all the world through a different lens,” some remain skeptical. Critics have argued that the complicated issues defining today’s current events will require more than hope and change to resolve.
"Idk... people are dying,” one said.
“Uhh no 2020 is definitely canceled,” another echoed.
The author, meanwhile, is keeping the faith that life will – eventually – get better, for us all.
"I try to be really aware that some people are turned off by the post because they feel like I am saying this had to happen for us to be here," she explained. "That's not what I am saying. But this did happen.”
“Now we can come together and create change so in five years we look back and say that year wasn't canceled. It was actually revolutionary.”