Nepal | January 23, 2021

Ode to 2021: It’s time to ring in fresh new hope

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The best thing to do is to think of the New Year—differently. Not like 2020 which was as wicked as COVID-19. Go, get into the couch. Daydream. Because, there are several novel ways to looking at 2021 differently. Think of a metaphor, like “The grass is greener on the other side of the landfill, not hill”

It’s time to ring in fresh new hope. When the legendary English poet, Alfred Lord Tennyson, wrote, “Ring out the old, ring in the new,/Ring, happy bells, across the snow:/The year is going, let him go;/Ring out the false, ring in the true”, he would not have, in his wildest dreams, visualised a sinister scourge called COVID-19 to make a mockery of our modern, scientific, medically-advanced and technologically-driven world and knock the stuffing out of our socalled impregnable fortress, or so we thought.

Like every old year that goes by, we’ve ‘rung-in’ yet another New Year—2021— with the ‘sword’ of not Damocles, but COVID-19 ‘horribilis’ hanging over our psyche. Yet, as the adage echoes, life goes on. So, there we are, and thanks to our inherent optimism, most of us would brush aside the ghost of COV- ID-19, doubtless, and ‘elect’ to make a great lifestyle and other changes in the wake of, during and after the unprecedented, extraordinary times that we’ve all lived through, whatever our beliefs, race or creed—more so, in the post-vaccine scenario.

Yet, the fact of the matter, again, is a clichéd saga. How well we all know that such resolutions may tumble down the alley by the time we are through with the subdued celebrations.

Wait a minute; just don’t cringe. There’s hope, after all, whatever the adversity.

So, latch on to the following 21 pointers to keeping your promises through the New Year and beyond.

Why twenty-one, you may well ask. Simple—it makes for a 2021 vision, even if you don’t like one bit of it.

The best thing to do is to think of the New Year—differently.

Not like 2020 which was as wicked as COVID-19—and, unlike no other year. Go, get into the couch. Daydream. Because, there are several novel ways to looking at 2021 differently. Think of a metaphor, “The grass is greener on the other side of the landfill, not hill”. Or, “I’m going to have a great year and end up trumps over my associates and a disgusting boss”. Or, “I’m going to be a slot higher in my wife’s esteem than the year that’s gone by”, or vice versa, and so on.

Take a look at an earlier situation in a new way.

Look beyond the box. Better still—have no box at all than being outside it. This would help you to improvise your belief, ingenuity and routine, or whatever you are trying to ‘hone’.

Great idea, isn’t it? Because, the world is shaped on our personal experiences and outlook. Changing your attitude can change your world. However, remember—as Mahatma Gandhi observed—that you need to be the change, to bring the change you want. Or, as philosopher Socrates said, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

Transform the ‘colour’ of your bedroom, the paint of your car, the ‘tint’ of your bifocals, progressive glasses, contact lenses, or whatever—and see the world in a different new light. Maybe, with a fresh, new understanding in place.

Don’t you feel overawed—try something new, even if you fail. It will bring purpose to your life—to try the idea again.

Take a fresh gaze at your ethics, because it is what that upsets you the most when everything else looks pleasant.

Use your cell phone sparingly, because it is cheap, yet not cheap; and, also because ‘delivery’ exceeds ‘requirement’.

Think more foolishly than you did last year, because it got you into your present ‘clutter’. And, also because it can easily get you out of it like one of Laurel and Hardy’s rollicking, hilarious slapstick clips.

Propose by all means, if you are not married. If married, avoid the divorce-trap—even if you don’t want to.

Walk on the right and the wrong footpath, simultaneously, because if you are on the precise pathway, you’ll breathe more and more pollutants, also viruses and bacteria, in the air.

Celebrities, and each one of us, have one thing in common. Difficulty. So, change ‘guard’ regularly; the latter without the benefit of a ‘fan-club’.

Be positive. Stick to it, even if you can’t. You know that you have the best possible mind-set.

You cannot avoid stress, hyperacidity, virus attacks, levy, every politician’s ‘mouth-in-the-foot’ disease, also demonetisation, and skewed ideologies.

Also, remember, taxes don’t get healthy every year.

Make sure that everyone you know considers your idea. Tell them that the ‘tenet’ isn’t entirely yours; it is from the Upanishads.

Battle for your honour and values. Because, you cannot live with(out) them.

Don’t go beyond ‘nowhere’, because it’s the most demanding and exciting trail.

Shop by all means—find out the freebies that come ‘handy’ with the worst possible bathing soap you don’t use.

If anger, or hatred, isn’t broke, ‘bond’ it till it goes kaput.

Tell your ‘competition’ that their ego is as good as yours, not any better.

Existence is a lengthy tussle. It is full of frustrations and challenges, but you know the best do-ityourself (DIY) kit money cannot buy. You.

Use the hand-wash, soap, sanitiser and the like, albeit they all have the ironical anti-bacterial ‘tag’ to kill the virus by 99.9 per cent, be it COVID-19, its variants, or anything else.

Life is neither a feast, nor a spectacle. It begins to divulge as you ‘mellow’.

Now, to use a platitude—a must, for anyone, who wishes to have a truly great, safe, healthy and successful 2021, or as Frank Sinatra said, “The best is yet to come.” It translates not just to a metaphor, but a new-fangled, redefined reality—laugh, the world will laugh with you, and not at you.

Happy New Year!

A version of this article appears in print on January 01, 2021 of The Himalayan Times.

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