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How will New Year resolutions in a co-Covid world be?

How will NY resolutions in a co-Covid world be?
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How will NY resolutions in a co-Covid world be?

Highlights

In a rat-race, we forget to empathise with our parents, friends and fellow beings and often participate in harmful social and interpersonal spirals

In a rat-race, we forget to empathise with our parents, friends and fellow beings and often participate in harmful social and interpersonal spirals. This New Year, in a co-Covid world is a most suitable opportunity to deal with estrangement, conflict and negative feelings in our close circles and create spaces of safety, comfort and relief.

Every New Year is a moment in time to start afresh, to take stock of things and to transform favourably. We make New Year resolutions for the same ends, and they, indeed, are ways towards new beginnings and worthy changes. However, what happens to these new beginnings when the world in which they are imagined gets turned upside down by a pandemic? We live in a co-Covid world and the past year made us go through unimaginable situations and cope in astounding ways. As 2021 arrives in such drastically altered circumstances, what should a New Year resolution look like?

In a poll conducted by Vancouver Sun, 47 per cent of voters said that they would not make a New Year resolution for 2021 and another 14 per cent were unsure. Indeed, looking ahead after the world has been ravaged by Covid-19 seems more difficult than usual. There is no going back after a pandemic, but if we choose to make resolutions, after all, they will differ from all usual scenarios we have known.

One fundamental way in which the pandemic has changed the perspective on life in general is through showing us the limits of material resources. In the face of a virus with no containment or cure, the richest of the rich had to curtail movement and access to services.

In a capitalist, materialist world where most individuals resolve to increase their earnings and accumulate capital, this is a most noteworthy development, as the promise of a good life gets detached from material benefits. If my New Year resolution one year ago was to ensure a spike in my salary or buy a new house, I now know that they will not be sufficient to combat the uncertainties the world is beset with. Resolutions, aims and ambitions cannot be the same in a co-Covid world, as the rewards we vie for no longer promise the same satisfaction and security.

On a more personal, intimate level, individuals had to face isolation and combat their specific physical, mental and emotional challenges. The simultaneity of isolation with a limiting of what material resources can provide left us with no choice but to reassess our lives and think of things which truly matter. We have had to reconsider, rethink and reorient our priorities when faced with unprecedented changes. Accordingly, a New Year resolution for 2021 should certainly reflect the ways in which we have grown in times of disease and precarity.

On a most significant level, we should resolve to ensure emotional and spiritual well-being. When posh cars and big houses fail to respond to our most important needs, it is a good idea to do some soul-searching and rediscover what makes us satisfied.

Any goals we set to improve ourselves cannot do without what makes us human. New Year resolutions, this year, inevitably have to be about our emotional and spiritual core, because external bounties fall short when it comes to strenuous times.

Some sample resolutions

To begin with, one can simply resolve to spend more time with one's family and loved ones and foster more substantial and organic bonds. Human resilience cannot survive without community and solidarity and thus, forming better connections with people close to us can do us a lot of good.

In a rat-race, we forget to empathise with our parents, friends and fellow beings and often participate in harmful social and interpersonal spirals. This New Year, in a co-Covid world is a most suitable opportunity to deal with estrangement, conflict and negative feelings in our close circles and create spaces of safety, comfort and relief.

In a similar vein, it is also a worthy resolution to take care of one's physical and mental health. Well-being cannot be imagined without a good mental landscape and bodily soundness. When a pandemic leads us to isolate ourselves from people and leaves us with nothing but our bodies and selves, we must take care of them and ensure that they stay in fine fettle.

Exercises, diets, therapy, getting to know our mindscapes and physiques better are all steps in the right direction which accentuate how we can contribute to the world and the society, as individuals.

Away from materialism

Most importantly, we must move from materialistic and superficial aims to become more soul-oriented. A massive predicament like Covid-19 makes us understand that we need to importantly transform our lives and seek happiness and fulfilment. We must ask ourselves what we truly want and get to know our needs and responses better.

If we know what is eating away our soul, we can effect change at a most fundamental level and embrace empowering transformations. We must discard soul-sapping feelings and acts and move towards joy, contentment and peace. On the whole, this New Year, in the face of a global crisis, we must learn, reflect and emerge as better, revitalized beings.

A co-Covid world may bristle with challenges and uncertainties, but it also is an opportunity to take gigantic strides, to innovate and radically transform lives. A quote by Lyndon B. Johnson sums up the potential our future holds:

Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose."

The right New Year resolutions, our personal goals of improvement will create all the change we need. While making resolutions, we must not overlook our souls and our relationships with people, as in the face of uncontainable trouble, they are all we have and we must do them justice. With the correct stepping stones, we can march to a future that brims with fulfilment and achievement. This new year, having learned and grown massively last year, we can and must make a difference!

(The author is founder, Upsurge Global, and Senior Advisor, Telangana State Innovation Cell)

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