As the god Janus…

As happens every year at the end of the year, the figure of the Roman god Janus comes to my mind, who simultaneously looks forwards and backwards. Unlike the other Roman gods, he has no counterpart in Greek mythology. He’s Roman, period.

It represents beginnings, portals, gates, transition, passages, time, duality and endings. He is the god of beginnings and choices. Its double head looks to opposite sides representing the past and the future. Some give the name of the first month of the year to Janus. January. Turn, restart, transition, passage.

Every late December, like Janus, I look in both directions simultaneously. I think about what I’ve done and what I intend to do in the coming year, looking forward rather than backwards.

This year is different. I force myself more than ever to think about what happened because so many changes have to serve something. I force myself to stop to try to understand and learn lessons from what I’ve lived. Then how we all, without exception, live.

2020 was the year of the scare, to recognise that the world was living a pandemic and, hopefully, believing that it would soon pass.

Throughout 2021 we understood that the world had effectively changed and that nothing would ever be the same again. It was the year of learning, for better or worse. We had to adapt to survive.

It’s almost two years of changes in our habits. We had to learn to take care of ourselves, wear masks, wash our hands extensively and use the internet as we never did before. We finally admit that a vagrant virus that dies with soap and water was able to change the world and kill so many people.

That alone gives you a bit to think about.

Plans went down the drain, traditional occupations were put to sleep while opportunities arose and new professions were created.

We had to hold hands. The traditional “save yourself if you can” would take us all to the bottom.

Never has so much been read about subjects as diverse as immunology, pandemic, infectology, sociology, psychology, and related others. Lives, lots of fake news too. We became more attentive and began to check the origin before passing on the information.

People came together to share and spread knowledge and information.

The super-expert in each field realizes that needs to look at the world as a whole. The term interdisciplinarity has become more than just a fad — it has become a necessity. Knowledge of a single subject does not get us very far in this complex scenario.

We are interdependent. Together, we look for ways out. We create vaccines.

Isolation, paradoxically, brought us together.

We learned to work from home, share spaces, organize schedules, and use Zoom, Cisco Webex, and Teams, I don’t know how many more tools to connect with someone who may be around the corner or on another continent.

And so begins 2022. We have no more time to waste. In 2020 we live what scared us.

Over the following year, we adapted and got used to the “new normal”.

Now, it’s time to use all the lessons learned: to value the right things, care for and worry about each other, give up some individual pleasures in the name of the collective and…

May Janus open doors, portals, gates, pathways, and help us in our choices and beginnings.

Happy New Year to all of us!

Originally published at on January 1, 2022.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Flavio Musa de Freitas Guimarães

Flavio Musa de Freitas Guimarães

Already watching the eighty-seventh turn of the Earth in curtsy around its King, I’m an engineer that became a writer, happy, in perfect health, body and mind.