Song #3 of the 2020101 project: “Extraordinary People”

Hello! It’s day 21 of The 2020101 Project, and that means we have a NEW SONG for you today!

It’s called “Extraordinary People.”

  • Click here to stream or download it, exclusively on Bandcamp.
  • Read below — or at — about the inspiration for the song, which emerged from our community’s shared experiences of 2020.
  • Also: we want you to help us continue to co-create this living project with us, by sharing your stories that relate to the theme of “Extraordinary People.” Find out how to submit your story at

showing up

The third theme to emerge from the stories we collected of 2020 reflects an essential, life-affirming human response in the face of unprecedentedly difficult circumstances …

… an impulse that is one of the building blocks of our species’ instinct for survival, and a bedrock of a functional society.

And it is this:

The ability of humans to show up for each other — and for ourselves — in extraordinary ways, when the circumstances call for us to do so.

Like the essential workers — the grocery store clerks, the people who harvest and process our food, the delivery drivers, the first responders — all of whom showed up to do jobs in public spaces, so that we could continue to get the supplies and help that we need to survive.

Like the frontline healthcare workers — who showed up every day, in often unprotected environments, to save lives; or to heal people recovering from injuries, to assist people having babies, to help people reliant on longterm care.

Like the small kindnesses we offered to and received from one another — even, sometimes, people we didn’t know — because we sensed how stepping up our active displays of empathy might make someone’s day a little brighter, or a little easier, in the face of so much collective stress and difficulty.

And like how we showed up for ourselves — by seeking and finding respite in nature; by discovering the power of presence; by digging a little deeper, and learning how to root ourselves in what is real and true during such an uncertain time.

Our capacity for resilience is remarkable.

And that’s not to suggest that we are all resilient and buoyant every day. I know I’m not.

We get bogged down,
we have stretches of days that feel swampy and endless,
we reach the bottom of our reserves …

… and, also …

we are renewed by a walk among the trees,
we are lifted by the generosity of others,
we are motivated by our sacred responsibility to one another,
we wake up some mornings with a fresh ability to face whatever comes our way that day.

And isn’t that feature built into our very nature? We are made to move forward, to learn new skills, to grow, and to keep reaching for life.

We did all of those things this past year,
because we had to.

Because our survival depended upon it.

And we did it.

We showed up.

People: we are extraordinary.

If you have story to share about someone who showed up for you in 2020, or about how you showed up for yourself, please email it to Jamie at

Throughout this 101-day-long project, we are creating a living, interactive document of people’s experience of 2020. Those stories, and all the songs from 2020101, will live on at