(This painting seems right for a post
Skype painting of two of the funniest
people I know. I like
wife (then girlfriend) Megan
were teaching in Korea, and we
I think it was two years ago that my friend Howard Wolinsky, the brilliant
Chicago journalist and photographer challenged me to write about the 2018
things I'd learned in 2018. So now we're coming to the end of 2020, and I'd
like to honour the tradition Howard started for me.
The first 2014 things I learned in 2020, were that we are living in a pandemic.
That was a double learning. Count a minimum of 2,000 (more like 2 million)
times for the actual awareness that we're living in a pandemic. And 14 for the
fact that people don't want to know it, and don't want to be careful.
Whew! Now we're at 2015 tonight's number. And I found a wonderful realization
on a past blog that makes sense to me.
I was talking about leaving New York City last year, and someone who made the
experience bearable. I think we were sitting waiting to get on a plane for three
hours because of some sort of problem. Here's what I said:
today in a sea of people at the airport was a young man who dared
to be funny. I know life is hard right now all over the world,
which is all the more reason for funny people to get people laughing.
Nothing makes you forget your troubles faster than a good shared
So this is one thing I learned in 2019. Humour matters. It
matters in the face of climate change, it matters in the face
of sorrow, or illness, or worry. It can't solve any of the
world issues, but we can't shut it down because of that.
Thank you to the funny people in my life (my whole family
and most of my friends). You make life more enjoyable
on a daily basis."
And today in 2020 I'll add thank you to my class, who met on Zoom
for the last time tonight. Some are dealing with living far away from
family. No one can have the fabulously jolly time over the holiday we
And yet that sweet group of people got each other laughing so