In many regions, it is a tradition to burn an effigy of the ‘Old Man’ on New Year’s Eve. It symbolises the previous year, and to burn away all the sorrows and bad experiences of that year. Aren’t we all just waiting to bid adieu to 2020!
A new year brings new hope. An opportunity to start with a clean slate, leaving behind what did not work for us and moving forward with a new resolve. Before we cast away 2020, we need to sift the grain from the chaff, and preserve the valuable lessons.
2020 has been a historic year which brought the entire world’s economy to a screeching halt. It added new words such as quarantine, lockdown and social distancing to our colloquial language. Whether or not a person fell victim to the coronavirus, this has been a year of awakening for every person. We have all learnt some life lessons, taught by a tough taskmaster. Some of the lessons are:
Family is most important
The pandemic made us value what is most important in life. It forced us to re-connect with loved ones, learn to support each other, and spend precious time with each other. People got on each other’s nerves too, but it also gave them an opportunity to acknowledge the value of the relationship, create new memories and forgive the past.
Thank God for technology!
If it weren’t for online platforms providing groceries and other essentials, a lockdown would have been impossible. Schools and colleges could proceed with the academic year only thanks to online learning. It comes with some challenges, but it empowered people to trudge along despite the unprecedented hardships.
Take Social Media with a pinch of salt
Ask yourself how much time do you spend on social media? How do you feel – happy, confused, dejected, anxious? Remember the adage – Not all that shines is gold! There is a lot of fake news and window dressing out there and one must be careful about what is being consumed and how it affects us.
Health is wealth
Thanks to the pandemic, even the laziest of people realised the importance of being healthy. No assets and possessions make a difference if you are sick. Home food is getting back its due importance as junk is being pushed on the side lines. Fitness is finally considered a necessity now.
Mental health is no longer taboo
Loneliness, loss of a loved one, loss of income, fear of infection and death and gloomy news all around took its toll on many people worldwide and mental health became a focus. People were forced to accept their true feelings, learn to deal with their emotions and either become resilient or get sucked in a blackhole. Even celebrities came forward with their mental health struggles, helping remove the taboo attached to it.
Save for a rainy day
Now more than ever people have realised the importance of saving. There have been too many job losses and pay cuts, and those who had created a cushion were able to sail through the difficult times. We need to curb reckless spending; if we review all the stuff we buy and what we actually need, we will realise how much reckless and wasteful spending we do.
Agility keeps you afloat
The pandemic saw a new breed of entrepreneurs – like home chefs, some of them experimenting for the first time. Many small establishments quickly adapted to stocking up on essentials and managed to thrive in the difficult times. It is important to be alert and agile so that you are not stumped by adversity.
As we look forward to the new year, ponder on:
What has been your biggest learning?
What are you willing to do differently this year?
What will you forego to make place for a better life?
How will you ensure you stick to your goals this year?
Let us all resolve to learn from our struggles to come out more resilient, thoughtful, grateful, and optimistic.
Wishing you a Happy New Year!