'What if 2020 isn't canceled?' Inspiring poem with message of change goes viral

One viral social media post is flipping a trending narrative about the year 2020.
What if 2020 isn't Cancelled?
"What if 2020 is the year we’ve been waiting for?"TODAY illustration

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/ Source: TODAY
By Alexander Kacala

2020 is canceled.

This phrase and sentiment has taken over the social media feeds and minds of many who are overwhelmed with the challenging obstacles that have been forged in the first half of this year.

But one social media post is flipping that narrative, asking an important question instead: What if 2020 isn't canceled?

"What if 2020 is the year we’ve been waiting for? ⁣A year so uncomfortable, so painful, so scary, so raw — that it finally forces us to grow," the poem reads. "⁣A year that screams so loud, finally awakening us from our ignorant slumber.⁣ A year we finally accept the need for change.⁣ Declare change. Work for change. Become the change."

"A year we finally band together, instead of⁣ pushing each other further apart.⁣⁣ 2020 isn’t canceled, but rather ⁣the most important year of them all.”⁣

Shared by celebs like Mindy Kaling and Billie Eilish, the poem has since been liked more than 265,000 times.

"Wow," commented one person on the post. "You completely changed my mood with this post. Amazing what a change in perspective does. This is so powerful. Stay blessed."

"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.”⁣

Written by Leslie Dwight, the aspiring writer said she was 13 years old when she learned that her father, who passed away when she was just a newborn, had actually died by suicide. This tragic revelation taught her the importance of staying resilient during trying times.

"My writing, in general, is very personal to me," Dwight, now 23, told TODAY. "I think that people are feeling that lack of hope, but they need to remember it is still there. I totally understand getting to that point of depression or having a tough time just in general."

"It can be hard to understand the importance of these dark times in the grand scheme of things, but going through my own struggles really shaped me into the person that I am today. It actually made me so much stronger and prepared me for so much and changed me as a person."

Not everyone is a fan of the post, however. Some have articulated that they feel the poem is just another example of white privilege.

One person commented, "Girl, people are dying."

"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 said. "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."

Dwight's link in bio instructs fans and followers on how they can help the "Black Lives Matter" movement, including how they can donate to various organizations or black-owned businesses that are working towards true change.

She noted, "I feel like what I have done in the last week isn't going to compare to what I am prepared to do for the rest of my life."

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article included a reference to and image of a young child. The parent of that child asked that the reference and image be removed from our reporting.