All good things must come to an end ~ so must all bad things. As the last day of December 2020 descends on us and in a matter of hours the curtains fall on this Day ~ December 31 ~ and this year ~ 2020, there will be a global sigh of relief rooted in the profound belief that the worst is over. This belief is what makes the human race perfectly human ~ because hope is inherent in our mental and psychological make-up, which spills over to our community, cultural, social, religious, political and economic lives. This year ~ 2020 ~ has been a nightmare for the entire globe as the novel Coronavirus stalked and surmounted us ~ more so a worse nightmare for families across the globe, who have lost their dear ones to this unrelenting virus. Perhaps the entire globe has never lived through a year as the dying one in living memory hence we look forward to the New Year hoping that the 2020 nightmare will end and we will wake up to a bright sunny day and new year ~ and life would be better. This hope is imperative for the human race because it propels us to be better thereby enhance our lives. Right now the news is grim with a mutated strain of the virus emerging in a few countries, which has reached India too, but our hearts are full of hope because of the number of vaccines available now. Living with both hope and despair basically sums up the existential tug-of-war of the human race. And, this will continue always ~ however much we want to banish all past unpleasantness and look forward to better days and years. For over a year, the Coronavirus completely took over our lives and controlled us and we think that an end to that is imminent as 2020 comes to an end. But how do we know that things would be better in the New Year? How do we know that worse nightmares aren’t lurking around the corner to make our lives more miserable? So, because we don’t know we need to take another look at 2020 and find meaning to the year it was. Yes, it was a terrible year but why was it so? Are we ready to look for the answers ~ perhaps, deep in our hearts? It is only after we find the answers we will be able to better ourselves ~ thus make the New Year, the future, a better one. If we continue to believe in the infallibility of humankind and ignore the fragility of our world, our planet and our environment on which we depend, 2021 and the years after could prove to be worse than 2020. The human race wasn’t designed to live the so-called normal and the so-called new normal is something we haven’t even started thinking through. And no, the Government-issued SoPs to see us through the pandemic aren’t the new normal ~ they are just broad guidelines to keep us safe from infection and its spread; not how to live as the human race is supposed to live. And how we are supposed to live is for us to work out ~ keeping in mind that outside of our environment, our world, our planet, there is no life and no place to live. Even within our environment, our world, our planet, we jeopardize our existence and survival if we do not “love our neighbours as ourselves”. The Coronavirus pandemic brought to the fore not only major health threats but also aberrations we considered normal ~ such as discriminations, bias and prejudice on grounds of race, religion, gender, culture, etc., as well as geography. The pandemic totally shattered our perceptions and perspectives of “advanced”, “developed”, “liberal”, “wealthy”, educated”, etc. No, we weren’t living a normal life ~ perhaps the pandemic mirrored that to us. But are we looking? Are we seeing? Are we noting? If yes, we have much to look forward to in 2021 and beyond. If not, 2020 was wasted on us and one pandemic or the other will continue to afflict us. One is not sure if Time brings new things to our lives or we create new things in every moment we live. As we prepare to bid farewell to 2020, let’s give a little thought to that.
Here’s wishing you the will, the wisdom and the strength to create a bona fide normal in 2021!