By Thomas Claiborne, Prevent Child Abuse Arizona Parent Advisory Council Member

An often cliché question: If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently?”

If I asked the majority of my peers how they would approach 2020 knowing what they know now, they would most likely tell me they would sit it out. None of us could foresee the rollercoaster ride would endure in 2020. We experienced the most divisive election in our generation. We lost icons, such as Kobe Bryant and his daughter, the consistent 7 pm Jeopardy game show host Alex Trebek, movie stars Sean Connery (James Bond) and Chad Boseman (Black Panther), and many others. May we not forget the brutal and senseless killing of George Floyd by a police officer that went viral and triggered a new outlook on how we view justice in this country.  All this as we are overcoming a global pandemic. There was a wide range of consistent tragedy.

We still don’t know how this will truly impact our education system, economy, political structure, and, more importantly, our mental health and well-being.

Where do we go from here? Where did we just come from? In this case, I don’t think the old cliché holds. Without committed reflection, hindsight does not equal perfect vision. When we share our stories, reflect, and look back to identify patterns, we can move forward stronger.

We share common ground in that we have all faced big stress and challenge this year. It may have impacted us differently, but regardless, it is a common ground. We all have a story.

I have a story to tell, you have a story to tell, we have a story to tell.

How do we prevent child abuse? Through sharing our stories so we can learn and do better.

As we learn how to tell and empathetically listen to our collective stories, we will experience collective healing and collective action.

As we all embrace 2021 and forecast our path forward, I want to hear your story. What did you experience in 2020 that could inform the way we collectively move forward? What is an experience that influenced you to work for the wellbeing of children? Don’t sugar coat it. I want to know. Share your story with me at

Let’s start telling our stories together.