2021 - The year that was

We are just about 7 days away from bidding 2021 adieu, and now is a good time to reflect on the year that was and hopefully carry the learnings to the year that will be.

2021 wasn’t an easy year to say the least; while 2020 was all about catching a breather in the midst of our otherwise super hectic lives, 2021 was a year which maybe taught us to live for the in-between moments. Those brief windows of opportunities when things felt calm and almost normal. Now, whether one chose to get hitched or go on a holiday or organise an event, the choice was varied, but the fact remains that all preparation and planning went out of the window, and the world became more spontaneous and flexible.

2021 was a year which taught us that sometimes our best laid plans can go for a toss, things we took for granted can be taken away in an instant and all equations don’t always last. It also taught us, that more than positivity and intelligence, it is resilience which is key to surviving in any set of circumstances. A resilient spirit is not only indomitable but an essential asset, one which sees us through our worst days and times. “When we learn how to become resilient, we learn how to embrace the beautifully broad spectrum of the human experience.”
― Jaeda Dewalt

2021 threw up some very interesting human insights too - Communities around the world mobilised to help fellow citizens during the pandemic, with India making its way to the Top 20 most generous countries in the world, at rank 14 on the World Giving Index.

On the other hand, many countries and communities still don’t have access to the CoVID vaccine, which obviously makes them susceptible and raises the risk for new variants. Perhaps now is the right time to consider inclusivity as more than a buzz word and act on it to make sure no one remains deprived of basic human rights.

People have lived through pandemics and wars even before 2020 and we are often told that, those were probably worse given the economic conditions and the slow pace of medical innovations. But in all honesty, I think our generation needs to be cut some slack. Now whether it’s through our own doing or again a byproduct of the times we live in - our senses have been dimmed by the constant exposure to social media, technology devices and the fact that we live in a world where we are always online but never truly connected.

Deprived of genuine bonds, our country is looking at a pandemic of another kind - the loneliness pandemic. As per the recently released Longitudinal Ageing Study of India, approximately 23% of elderly stay alone, without children. About 20% respondents from a survey amongst youth, admitted to feeling lonely and lost.
According to Lancet Health Journal, the loneliness pandemic has been considered equivalent to smoking around 15 cigarettes a day, if not less. All these are alarming statistics for a world with a population of 7.9 billion people, but clearly no one has the time to reach out.

Which brings us to the ever pertinent question — If after having lived through a pandemic we still haven’t got our priorities right, what else would it take, to make us realise what truly matters.

What stops us from letting people know it’s ok to be weak sometimes and cry, what stops us from being kind and sharing and giving everyone a chance at life, what stops us from checking in on friends and acquaintances (literally takes a few seconds to type a message). The world has and will continue to move on, but what we really had and missed was a solid chance to make a difference. Maybe 2022 will give us another opportunity.

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Harry Potter Addict , Nail Paint Hoarder , Traveller

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Rucheeka Chhugani

Rucheeka Chhugani

Harry Potter Addict , Nail Paint Hoarder , Traveller

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