I dedicate this blog to Gracy Pinto, my college classmate and dear friend. She passed away on 17th January 2023 after a hard fought battle with cancer. Ever since I started writing the blog (till she was able to) she cheered me along with positive encouragement and appreciation. Thank you Gracy. Farewell, till we meet across the bridge.
It is the month of January and usually the time for New Year Resolutions. Wind back to January of 2020 and I am sure most of us or at least many of us would have made New Year resolutions — all kinds, whether it was to do for oneself, career and work, to do with family, relationships and things to do and not to do. However Covid 19 showed up, unwelcome for sure, and all resolutions died and were buried. The virus forced us to think differently and so there were new beginnings and new resolutions. Covid shook us up, and brought to the fore the reality of uncertainties.
Life itself was uncertain, deaths of dear family members, friends and acquaintances — old and not so old. Loss of jobs in all strata of society and uncertain incomes.
Children and students who were looking forward to a new academic year were kept indoors for almost two years. The uncertainty of schools reopening, coping with academics, but the greatest loss was their loss of social interactions and physical activity. A large number of children have not yet recovered from the losses making a healthy, successful future an uncertainty.
Certainties in life are often uncertainties. Not only during the pandemic — it has always been so and post pandemic will continue to be so.
I would like to share a recent example. A couple of decades ago, I used to write a column for Times of India on career related challenges. A lady got in touch with me, to tell me that I had made a difference to her life. She lived in a home for the aged — we spoke on the phone (not after her phone was lost). I visited occasionally and definitely during the Christmas season.
I went this past Christmas too, only to be told that she had passed away. What I thought to be a certainty of meeting her was actually an uncertainty.
It works both ways:
How often have teachers and parents thought with certainty that ‘A’ will not be successful in life. Then ‘A’ surprised everyone.
‘B’ was brilliant with the certainty of going places and then disappointed everyone.
So I thought I had to find a new word — Resolutions are made with certainty, which could be uncertainties. Then I saw the title of the Mint Lounge dated 7th January, which was ‘The stories of Possibilities’. There it was — the word ‘Possibilities’ — which means ‘the fact that something might exist or happen but is not likely to.’
So, let me dump the words resolutions, certainties and uncertainties and talk only about possibilities, it will make me feel safe and not guilt ridden at the end of the year.
Every human endeavour must have started with a possibility and that is how we have progressed in all fields:
Science and Technology — who would have thought that mobile phones, the Internet and now even ChatGPT could have been a possibility.
History, Geography, Finance, Relationships, Romance, Literature — every single discovery, all based on a hypothesis with the possibility that it will reach fruition.
For this year I have thought of some possibilities:
When someone gifted me a set of colourful coasters I realized how bereft of colour our house was. So, I have decided to add some colour starting with the possibility that I will streak one of my locks of grey hair, blue or red or green.
There is the possibility of the book being written which did not even take off in 2022. And the possibility that I will read atleast a book a month. Well I have ordered 3 on Amazon to start with.
I have to do something to be fit and healthy so there is the possibility that, among other things, I will find a swimming pool somewhere close — well not to swim in but to walk in at the periphery to strengthen the lower half of my body.
I think that I have forgotten something. If all the possibilities mentioned above and others not mentioned are to happen then I have to work on myself. Hence, I came up with an acrostic of the word POSSIBILITY to be my template.
P — Prayer — for with God nothing is impossible
Perseverance — it is so easy to give up or to procrastinate.
O — Observation — to look for those opportunities that come my way to reach out and help another along the way.
S — Soul — I need to search within and without for the growth of my soul.
S — Spark — I would like to keep the spark going, for after all there cannot be a fire without the spark.
I — Initiative — While there are opportunities all around, I need to take the initiative to make things possible.
B — Belief — Is it possible to achieve anything without belief in God, in self, in spouse and family, in the team?
I — Interest & Integrity — Initiative cannot be sustained without interest and Integrity.
L — Listen — If only I would listen better and more!
I — Innovation — Innovation in thought, in ideas to really think out of the box.
T — Trust — Trust is the foundation of all relationships. Nothing can be achieved alone. I need to trust and be trustworthy.
Y — Yell — Yell for help when needed. Yell for joy when I can say all done and dusted.
With this template, I am now on my way.
Let me end with the second line of my New Year wish which said:
2023 is here, a gift from God. What I do with all my possibilities will be my gift to God.
Let everyday count.