If Not Now, When ?

For most, New Year resolutions vanish as fast as the eve’s euphoria and intoxication. But the year with a new date printed on it, returns every 12 months, to give us an opportunity to course correct or to cheat ourselves yet again. So, life trudges on with its pits and pitfalls, bumps and bloopers, and occasional highs and wets…and worrisome waits.

But the Covid-19 has turned life topsy-turvy…the way we work, live, meet, party and play…or do not. This catastrophe has cornered and compelled some, and coaxed and cajoled others to introspect, to resolve, and to act, to tackle the “new normal”.

Many, who had some free time gifted by the virus, have taken the bull by its horns…taking good care of their and family’s health, doing what they enjoy but never had much time to do, killing the habits which could turn them into a deadwood or deadbeat, learning new work and life skills to survive and flourish in times to come, and also preparing  their children to face the present and negotiate the future. Their serious and funny posts and interactions on social media, unveil not only the culinary creativity, but also care, concern and conscience.

I honestly admit…my check-list is replete with crosses, as I frittered away for the frivolous. And, if for some valid or invalid reasons, your check-list too, has more crosses than ticks, don’t worry. Heavens have not fallen, and we have not missed the bus yet. We just have to hop on. It is a journey, and there are no full stops.

Life will never be the same. Life has changed. Life is changing.

Let’s ask: Have we? Are we?

IF NOT NOW, WHEN?

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Picture: David Marcu/Unsplash

Chances We Take, Choices We Make.

The chances we take and the choices we make throughout our lives, decide the course of life. Life itself is a result of choices and chances.

Chances present choices before us. We make a choice to take a chance, and we take a chance in choosing that choice; for nothing is certain, and the calculated outcome is, at best, an intelligent guess.

We have no control over chances, which are circumstantial, and therefore, could result into good, bad or ugly; sample these: an understanding spouse (good), losing all the money in gambling (bad), infection by Covid-19 (ugly). However, we do have control over choices; though we can’t altogether cast aside the chance repercussions of our challenging choices.

This is true in all spheres of life and living at all times – education, occupation, love, marriage, or family setting. Confusing it is, but every challenge and each change is an outcome of this chance-choice conundrum.

To lighten the mood, take my case. I was at Guwahati and had the option of leaving for Bangalore just before the lockdown. But I took a chance and made the choice of staying back another week. My choice of taking a chance has confined me and confounded others. In this extended, albeit unintended overstay, I embrace embarrassment, while many lurk behind feigned amusement.

Choices create chances and chances cause choices. But we can make our choices independent of the chance-fate presented to us on a plate by the past. It is not necessary to accept the choices handed down to us by life. We can choose to build new alternatives. And we have the choice to act or not to act.

The chances we take…

And the choices we make,

Give us life, or drop by drop…

Bleed us to death.

                      Picture Credits: internet/unsplash.com

Solitude of Social Distancing

Due to the prevailing norms of social distancing, people are suffering from isolation anxiety and fear of solitude. In this context, following extracts from Pablo Neruda’s Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech are enlightening:

“There is no insurmountable solitude. All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are. And we must pass through solitude and difficulty, isolation and silence in order to reach forth to the enchanted place where we can dance our clumsy dance and sing our sorrowful song — but in this dance or in this song there are fulfilled the most ancient rites of our conscience in the awareness of being human and of believing in a common destiny…

Our original guiding stars are struggle and hope. But there is no such thing as a lone struggle, no such thing as a lone hope. In every human being are combined the most distant epochs, passivity, mistakes, sufferings, the pressing urgencies of our own time, the pace of history.”

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GOOD FROM THE EVIL!

CORONA VIRUS: A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE

The fear of corona virus has slowed life resulting in forced idleness of various degrees. Not only work is affected, we can’t even pack off to a holiday destination. While we practice hygiene to ward off the dreaded virus, the unexpected leisure is the virus-sent opportunity to think and act, to teach and to learn.

Nothing is more important than helping children become better and responsible citizens. Of course, top priority now is teaching them cleanliness and protecting themselves from getting infected. But let us also give them our time to inculcate values, and to develop positive attitude, hobbies and habits.

We can utilize this time to nurture in our children values such as kindness, empathy, tolerance and respect for others and their views. This will build their character. Let’s tell them the importance of reading to widen their horizons and to deepen their understanding of life and times so as to develop a positive attitude and world-view, and to think deeper, broader and universal. Let’s present before them the pleasure to be derived from creative hobbies such as painting, writing, and other arts which help them to explore and to imagine, to delve within and to dive without. Let’s expose children to household chores and dignity of labour, and make them respect workers, maids, drivers, cooks and others.

Let’s show them by example value of money and savings, of considered spending and intelligent choices; to teach them basics of money matters such as writing expenses and keeping those within budget. Let’s convince them to avoid wastage of every resource- money, food, water, electricity, and to reuse, recycle and repair, and to be kind and considerate towards the environment. Children imbibe and emulate what they see. The mindless spectacle of stream of parcels delivered daily at home by Amazon and others makes their impressionable minds to think that  there is endless supply of easy money.

We must teach them by example that what matters is not materialism but goodness, knowledge, intelligence and being humane.

If we can give these life lessons to our children, I believe we would have given them the ultimate gift. The corollary benefit is that while teaching our children, we too will learn to be better human beings.

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