If you’re a golfer then you’re familiar with the word mulligan. For those unfamiliar with the greatest game played on turf a mulligan is an extra shot allowed in an informal round of golf. This shot will not be counted and is “allowed” by opposing players after a particularly poor shot. It’s also know as a “do-over.”
A mulligan on the golf course always sounds like a good idea until the extra shot turns out to be worse than the original shot. You don’t get to pick the better of the two shots, if you decide to take a mulligan then you are stuck with the outcome of that shot. So you better make darn sure the second shot couldn’t be worse than the first.
I’ve read and heard a lot about how everyone deserves a mulligan for the year 2020. I’ve heard most of the year how it would be great if we could forget 2020 and pretend as if it never happened.
For some people that would truly be wonderful. 2020 has indeed been a terrible year for some people. People who have lost a loved one especially. Their pain can never be fully erased, a better 2021 will not offset their loss. For me, I believe people who lost a loved one to the pandemic have every right to want 2020 to be over and done.
People who worked their whole lives to start and grow a business only to see it wither and die are a close second. Their loss and grief can be almost as severe as losing a family member. The only consolation for that group is that there is a possibility of starting over. It’s not fair that they should have to; it could actually be more challenging the second time around but at least it’s possible.
2020 has been a year of loss in many many other ways. The most common is loss of physical contact with family and friends. As my wife reminded me this past week we lost time with our kids and grandkids that we can never get back. I hate that but as bad as it is other people have lost so much more.
So before we ask for a mulligan for 2020 maybe we should consider exactly how bad it was for some of us. I don’t want to insult anyone by trying to minimizing the struggles of 2020, it was a terrible year for many people. For many people but not for most. Most of us experienced small pain in the butt type losses. We all must be careful to not equate our relatively small losses with the gigantic losses of others.
For me rather than take a mulligan for 2020 I’m going to continue to try to survive the pandemic. But I’m also going to make a great effort to support, however I can, those who truly suffered a horrific loss in the last year.
My losses in the last year were nothing when compared to others. I’m betting that’s true for many many of the people reading this post. So how about joining me in making 2021 a better year for other people and not a year for worrying about the relatively little things we missed in 2020.
Are you with me?