We were handed a lot in 2020. Words that might come to mind include challenging, lonely, frustrating, overwhelming, difficult, unprecedented – and many others better left unsaid.  

Yet I would add another word: resilient. 

I’ve decided that this is the word that best captures the “silver lining” of this past year. As we struggled with a pandemic, contentious political debate and calls for social change, we also gained some perspective. As a country or even world-at-large, many of our problems have yet to be solved, but I am convinced that we have developed the resiliency needed to not only recover but reach an even better place.  

Throughout the pandemic, the insurance industry enjoyed continued business. We did learn to work remotely – which is something I believe adds a nimble advantage to our playbook going forward – but we otherwise continued much as before. Others were not as lucky, as they dealt with layoffs and furloughs. Ultimately, it was a privilege for MJ to serve clients who faced some remarkable challenges, and we were inspired by their creativity, determination and can-do attitudes. We learned together, and I believe we all improved in meaningful ways.  

Resiliency is always hard-earned. Yet this new-found strength will serve us well. MJ’s purpose statement is “to inspire the success, fulfillment and wellbeing of each person we serve.” I thought we did that admirably before 2020. I know with certainty that we will do it even better going forward.  

One proof point of that belief is our Together4Impact campaign to help those most affected by COVID-19. In partnership with other insurance and risk management organizations, MJ launched this initiative to provide support for those struggling with food, economic, or family insecurity due to the virus. You can learn more about this effort here. 

As we look back at 2020, my hope is that we can each reframe our experiences by focusing on the resiliency we gained following months of struggle. However different the holiday season and months following might look, our ability to persevere is what will see us through.