Such an anomaly 2020 has been that I have had more positives in my life than negatives. It’s not about what was/is happening in the world but it is about what is happening in my world. It is about how I approached my life during the testing times. I know that 2020 will be marked as a dark year in human history similar to the previous years when pandemics happened and history remembers them. So many stories might have been cut short during those years and this year too but many more stories are created.
We stick to the concept of dividing our life into years and we forget that it is just a complete revolution which the earth made around the sun. We are beings of the universe and we are not aware of millions of entities out there. Taking 2020 as an opportunity to transform our lives was what nature hinted us to do. She wants humanity to look at the positives of life closely so that humanity understands the bigger picture and re-prioritise on areas where it should grow.
In this piece, I am not going to talk about the things which were not so good (One of the authors I met many years back told me not to use the word ‘bad’), but I want to focus on the positives of life which 2020 has brought forward for everyone. Of course, I have sympathy with so many hundreds of thousands who have lost their lives and the irreplaceable pain they experienced this year. But- life has to move on. Humanity has to move on. Time has to move on.
Before March 2020, none of the governments nor corporations or businesses would have dreamt of shutting down operations for months. But it happened, isn’t it? They accepted, isn’t it? Acceptance was the reality. Even for the most arrogant or most ambitious, acceptance was the reality in true sense. Things can be out of control and we need to accept the situation and fight it in the best possible way. We need to understand that we can’t abuse the freely available resources given by mother nature as we wish. We need to give nature and natural resources their space and we need to make sure they are preserved.
Suddenly, healthcare became the highest priority of every possible administrative entity in the world. We have been ignoring our health in the rat race and a microbe has triggered an alarm signal which has shaken the neural system of hundreds of governments. It is so encouraging to see the astronomical rise in healthcare during this year and how they have managed to break barriers and fortify defense against diseases. A vaccine in less than a year must have been a dream in the past but the dream came true. Even at the granular level, so many people became aware of having good health. Personally, I made a target to transform myself which I was able to achieve.
Communities came together during this pandemic. So many people came together to help the needy. The feeling of philanthropy and service was at an all time high. So many social heroes came to the forefront. So many social heroes became part of viral videos and messages. It was so heartening to see that the community was giving recognition to the people who have been doing things for the community for a long time. These heroes are the real heroes and have been working selflessly and this ‘PAUSE’ helped the community realise what the social healers have been playing all these years.
Families unite! A close friend of mine who is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army said that this is the best time of your lifetime when you need to give enough time to your family. That’s what most people did. So many expats went back to their homes only to revisit their childhood, families, parents, friends, lost love, lost skill, lost toys, lost memories and lost feelings. Isn’t it beautiful, nature wanted you to go back to your roots. Nature wanted you to slow down and made you realise that your past is the foundation of your present. People with bigger families opened chapters of their lives in nostalgia and discussions went on for days. Also, the situation redefined how people conducted family celebrations and occasions. This broke the age old conventions and people accepted the change. This is important because breaking a convention in society can happen only when it happens society wide. All the big fat weddings and funerals will soon become things of the past and this era is a precedent for what is important and what is not.
I think the biggest discovery of this year has been self discovery. We lost things we loved to do as a child or as a teenager. But we couldn’t get a chance to discover the skill we had because we got busy with our daily lives and the tryst for survival. When the ‘semi-colon’ of life called 2020 happened, we got back to our homes and started re-discovering what we had lost. We got inspired from the online content of friends and family and started looking at what we can do. We found things in our closet which took us back to our childhood. We took up baking, cooking, painting, music or any other skill which was lost in the drive of life. We shared what we did on social platforms and realised that we still have something worthwhile. Essentially, we became more confident in our lives. We forget that all the ‘Art’ happened in 2020 might be more than ever did in humanity as a whole.
Entertainment had a different definition this year. Many social media heroes cracked up people with their stunts on Tiktok, Youtube, Instagram and various other platforms. Gaming industry bloomed as many people started playing games on smartphones. People made social connections on entertainment platforms only to challenge themselves on their abilities. I wonder how many celebrities would be playing games with pseudo names on different platforms.
Virtual is here to stay. So many movies talk about virtual presence and communication. We just watch from the entertainment aspect and we don’t realise that people are working to bridge this gap. The world became an even more smaller place confined to your home. You can work, study, make friends, date, party and so much more just virtually.I know this is an abnormal feeling considering a ‘normal’ situation since the last 100 years. Everything started to happen at home and people started to spend more time at home. Psychologically this can be denting because humans are naturally nomads and want to connect with nature in some way. This transformation is a disruption to make you realise that there are things which can be done at home. Companies should realise that a person with disability or a pregnant lady is as productive as any other employee. Again, hardliners would have realised that there are means by which any person can be productive in life and they should give them those means. All the companies who helped build this virtual ecosystem over the last many years have to be thanked immensely for what they helped people with in trying times.
New connections, new relationships and new avenues in life. Did you realise that you can easily connect with your favourite celebrities on social platforms. You know about their lives, their homes and how they conduct themselves. I think it was never this easy as this pandemic made it. With all the streaming services, so many new actors and performers made it to the forefront. People started taking note of the new performers and a new dimension was opened up to them. The whole concept of good stories and storytelling has become the norm with all the quality content fed to the Janta. This is such a welcome change as the stereotypes are broken and the myths are shattered. Quality content is the key and will always be the key.
Difficult times create opportunities which have higher value and vast reach. So many novel ideas are propping up everyday and many startups are working towards solving problems in life with a newer approach. This means that we will be moving ahead in warp speed to achieve things which were unthinkable in the past. You would have seen changes in how we travel, how we work, how we party over the fag end of the year. All of this might get into a mould which might be acceptable by humanity and nature together.
It is noteworthy that we should give credit to the IT industry which has been working to build a process where people can work remotely. If this kind of ecosystem was unavailable, it would have resulted in chaos. Many other companies are adapting to the workflow and management cues from the IT industry and redefining their processes. This means that more and more people are realising the value of flexibility in a working ecosystem.
Lastly, I would like to thank Tim Bernes Lee from the depths of my heart for inventing the internet. Incredible contribution of all the scientists in building the Internet and building an ecosystem which has helped keep the sanity of humanity.
Wonder why I kept the title of the article as ‘B Positive’? Research says that B Positive is the most resilient blood group against the virus. So humanity has to be resilient to whatever comes and being positive is the only way.