Top of Mind Thursday – February 29, 2024: Leaping Forward

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Today, February 29, is Leap Year Day—the day that only appears once every four years.

Anything that happens today—good or bad—will only come back around for an exact anniversary in 2028. But did we move forward or backward since the last leap year in 2020?

Hard to believe, but four years ago, we were just starting to worry about something called Coronavirus. Not long after this date, the world pretty much shut down. We learned how to be socially distant, the importance of N95 masks, what worked and didn’t work in remote settings, and that even the best restaurants could (and would) provide good takeout meals.

In the last four years, we’ve seen a couple of conflicts wind down and two more new wars ramp up. We’ve seen a rise in incivility and violence in general, and antisemitism, racism, and gender-based hatred in particular.

Cybersecurity and supply chains are no longer the buzz words they were four years ago, but AI and ChatBots are the hot topics now. As happens with most technologies, we’re warned they may drastically change our lives. The question remains whether that will be for the better, the worse, or perhaps not much at all.

We’re still dealing with the fallout from the insurrection in January of 2020, with some perpetrators sentenced for their crimes, and the former president indicted 92 times for various criminal acts—for which he may or may not ever see the inside of a courtroom. And we likely will have the same two men vying to be the oldest-ever president again.

We’ve seen major steps backwards on women’s rights, including the reversal of Roe v. Wade and now an Alabama court that has jeopardized the success of in vitro fertilization by declaring that frozen embryos are full-fledged people. (Does that mean one can use the car pool lane with a test tube beside them? Inquiring minds want to know.)

The question now is where will we be on Feb. 29, 2028.

Will we have moved forward or back? That’s up to each of us. Today’s a good day to think about what steps we want to take personally and professionally to be in a better place in the future. That’s not such a big leap to make.

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