WHAT IS IN STORE FOR 2021, ONLY GOD KNOWS?
Significantly, the adage stands good; ‘time and tide waits for none’ and should never be forgotten. We have control over our present but our future is unpredictable while the past is dead. Unpredictability of future gives a lesson for us that present is the only time which factors the most and is in our control, the happenings of which could be envisaged. Therefore, wisdom contained in Bible should never be forgotten: ‘I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.’
In the context of;Time Factor, it is most relevant to quote Bhagwad Gita: Among the Daily as (demons and giants), I am Prahlada; among measurers, I am time; among the animals, I am the king of beasts (the lion); and among birds, I am Garud (vehicle of Vishnu)’. Therefore, I am of the firm conviction that we should always we should avail every opportunity to fulfill the purpose for which we are on this beautiful earth and should not waste the ‘time’.
It would be right to forget the year 2020 since it was a testing one in every way. What happens in 2021 is uncertain. The same are given in the succeeding paragraphs.
THE YEAR THAT WAS – 2020
Importantly, at the start of 2020, we were not aware what will happen in the days and months to come. In India, the first case of Covid-19 (Wuhan virus) is reported to have caused on 30 January 2020. Presently, the total numbers of confirmed cases of infection has been second highest though the cases of recovery are more than 95% currently and the death rate is also lowest. Similar is the case globally. Although jab of vaccine is being administered yet the infection mutation is also happening more severely. The UK mutation/variant of infection is more virulent and fast spreading. Some cases of this variant have been detected. Let’s see what is stored for our country and globally.
ECONOMIC SLOWDOWN DUE TO LOCKDOWNS
Subsequently, voluntary curfew was imposed on 22nd March 2020. Even at the fag end of the year, uncertainty prevails in this context. Who would have imagined that the Coronavirus pandemic would create such disorder in public order and disproportional economic melt-down. It goes to show, we cannot predict anything. Anything may happen at any point of time without its inkling. The same thing could be inferred in the world sphere – unpredictable to say the least. I pray to the God for his succor in order to save the humanity.
The adverse economic effects of the economic slowdown due to lockdown conditions are too severe. Many industries have closed due to which job losses have happened. There has been significant reduction in income generation, rise in unemployment due to lockdown conditions, the divergent condition is more pronounced on public transportation, tourism industry, manufacturing industries, agro-industries too felt the pinch etc. The steps taken are the medical help for mitigation of the problem. Therefore, only course of action is the save lives around the world. Economic activity could start after we have good health and wellness. There has been colossal deaths and destruction around the world since the outbreak of the vicious infection and continues to haunt the humanity! If it is a natural phenomenon, nothing could be said, but if it is due to manmade then in the Lab then, sure enough, Karma will certainly catch up with the perpetrators. There is a silver lining though, the Vaccine jabs could stop this tide of deaths, let’s see what is store for the humanity.
IN INDIAN CONTEXT
In India, the farmers’ agitation against the three farm bills is also a matter of huge concern and needs to be solved. The sooner it is done the better for the country. Care should be exercised that this agitation should not spill over to 2021. Though, two of their demands have been met in the meeting between Govt. and the farmers representatives. If problems are there, these could be ironed out with mutual consultation but I am utterly disappointed that some lawbreakers and anti-social elements are disrupting the communication by disconnecting the power supply and have damaged about 1500 mobile towers. What it has got with the demands of farmers? By so doing, such anti-social elements are doing a great disservice to the people in general. This has adversely affected banking, online school and college education and internet connectivity for e-commerce etc.
Besides there are some pinpricks which is retarding the holistic growth and development which we have to look for solutions:-
- Slowdown in real estate due to less capital in the market.
- Transportation bottlenecks due to fear of Covid-19 pandemic.
- Lockdown situations in some places due to fear of infection.
- Increase of rate of unemployment due to slowdown in manufacturing industries.
Following aspects need special emphasis:-
VOCAL FOR LOCAL & FROM LOCAL TO GLOBAL
I want my country to be self-sufficient in every way possible. This self-sufficiency could happen if the manpower resources in variety of skills could be exploited to maximum extent. By so doing, we can be self-reliant in a variety of materials which we used to import resulting in depletion of foreign exchange. Not only self-sufficiency in variety of things but also the skilled, semi-skilled and non-skilled manpower resources could be meaningful employed. This will facilitate n fulfilling the dream of VOCAL FOR LOCAL. Getting employment and utilizing of raw-materials for producing finished goods would facilitate not merely saving foreign exchange but also alleviate the condition of our work-force. Not merely this, the goods produced could then be exported to foreign countries thus earning extra foreign exchange. By this, we shall be fulfilling the dream of from LOCAL TO GLOBAL.
RIDDING THE COUNTRY OFF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Till such time our country is rid of the Coronavirus pandemic, we cannot excel in any field, therefore, it is necessary that we adopt measures so that we do not contract infection. These measures are: use of face masks, observe social distancing, take balanced diet so as to enhance our immunity along with take regular exercises besides lead a spiritual orientation in our lives so as to remain physiologically and psychologically fit. Therefore, till such time we have proper vaccine, we have to observe the norms to keep ourselves safe from this vicious infection.
While a country is economically stable then that particular country will command respect globally. But the moot point is how to get economic growth? This could be made possible by the following steps:-
USING OUR MANPOWER RESOURCES.
When we use the manpower resources available meaningfully this will not only give them employment avenues but also their goods and services producing capacities will multiply.
MEANINGFUL USE OF RAW MATERIALS.
When the raw materials (agricultural and mineral) available in the country is used meaningfully then finished goods produced could partly be used within the country and partly exported.
SELF-SUFFICIENCY IN AGRICULTURAL PRODUCE.
When we are self-sufficient in food production, then, we are able to food items partly for our own use and partly for exporting the surplus goods. This can earn us foreign exchange too which could also be re-ploughed for further enhancing the farm produce. This could also be used for producing cash crops which has potential for export too. I want the farmers our country to get adequate training so that they understand how to enhance the produce by using right quantity manure and fertilizers, use of water, how best to use the new agricultural technology as also how to reduce the input cost etc. Furthermore, the ongoing farmers’ agitation should be handled properly to the satisfaction of all so that seamless agricultural production is ensured.
SELF-SUFFICIENCY IN DEFENCE PRODUCTION.
It is a fact that when we are self-reliant in defense production, then, we would be able to defend our borders at all times. This calls for not merely training our armed forces personnel in use of new weapons while taking care of the health and wellness of the defense personnel because they have to be acclimatized in the coldest and the hottest seasons. This apart, we have to have answer for all the advancements in latest weapons along with the advancements in drones, robotics, missile technology, etc. In 2021, if we ensure defense preparedness then no country would dare to invade us due to the fear of retaliation.
PEACE & PROSPERITY FOR ALL WITHOUT DISCRIMINATION.
My wish for 2021 is that there should be inclusive growth and development for all without any discrimination. If there is peace and prosperity then, sure enough, a dawn of new beginning would be ensured.
On individual plane, I would like the following:-
LIFE IS AMALGAMATION OF SWEET & BITTER EXPERIENCES
Essentially, it is not the total doom and gloom, life is the amalgamation of bitter and sweet memories. While 2020 is going to consigned to the pages in history, we recollect some events and incidents which give us experiences how best to be adaptive in any situation and condition. It is through inappropriate situation from which we get unique and exemplary experiences
To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven. Bible
Eternal time is the primeval source of the interactions of the three modes of material nature. It is unchangeable and limitless, and it works as the instrument of the Supreme Personality of Godhead for His pastimes in the material creation – Srimad Bhagavatam.
A STITCH IN TIME SAVES NINE
At times, we tend to procrastinate and this procrastination becomes a part of our habit till such time it is too late. I know the case of a senior officer who did not have any problems related to finances, health-wise; had every comforts which a person aspires for but he had not married. When he reached at his late 50s he started feeling very lonely – which is not conducive for the wellness of an individual.
WE HAVE TO TURN THE SITUATION FROM NEGATIVE TO POSITIVE
Fact remains; it is not always that we shall get positive results but need is to have optimism to turn negative results into positive ones simply with self-effort with sincerity along with belief on our God. There is always a silver lining in the dark clouds which matters. It is our common experience that when time is favourable, we consider ourselves on the seventh-heaven but when we experience some down-slide; we just plunge abysmally into the abbess of our own making, surprisingly sometimes without rhyme or reason.
WHEN NOTHING WORKS SPIRITUALITY ORIENTED LIFE WORKS
Based on past experience, I have gleaned over a period under various situations and conditions, I resolved to make my life spiritually oriented, methodical, adaptable besides being positive in all situations and conditions.
OUR SINCERE EFFORTS ALWAYS PAYS DIVIDENDS
While we are endowed with all we aspire for, we should not lose patience. We should put in sincere efforts. No problem, God willing, we shall get everything and if we are not able to get then also there is no problem. As far as I am concerned, I have not got unlimited needs as I do not compare myself with others. If I do not get anything which I aspire, I remember Gita Song. Arjuna is still confused about what is better: renunciation of work or work in devotion. Krishna explains that devotional service is better. Since everything belongs to Krishna, nothing is one’s own to renounce. Thus whatever one possesses one should use in Krishna’s service. A person working in such consciousness is renounced. This process, called karma yoga, helps one escape the result of furtive action – entanglement in rebirth.
One who works with utmost sincerity and singleness of purpose with mind and senses controlled, is in divine consciousness. Although his senses are engaged with sense objects, he is aloof, situated in peace and happiness. This wisdom filled statement keeps us contented in all what we have.
LEARNING FROM SMALL CHILDREN
Our little kids are the ones who teach us lesson which even a grown-ups do not. You smile at them and they will reciprocate your smile as a return gift. I like their innocence and sincerity at any event and at all times. Though they are dependent on others for their daily needs, yet, their joyful chatter keeps us absorbed. I learn from these small kids; innocence, simplicity, tolerance, patience etc. In Bible it has been emphasized: God calls children a blessing and a gift! Their spirits are filled with innocence, joy and laughter. Jesus actually tells us to be like children and to come to Him full of faith and trust.
BUILDING THE TRAITS OF PATIENCE, TOLERANCE AND SELF-CONTROL
Patience always pays should never be forgotten. It has been seen that those who remain patient despite provocations are rewarded with good health and wellness. Here keeping self-control is a must. This calls for control of our mind lest it goes berserk. In life, we have to adopt patience as an important tool to deal with life’s vicissitudes. But time factor affords us the wherewithal to introspect and come out with plausible answer to practice patience. Patience gives us opportunity to choose objectively what we actually want or what we do not want. Progress would be slow but after practicing a number of times results would be to our liking. Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive – Bible. This wisdom should always be kept in mind.
SMALL THINGS TAKEN TOGETHER CAN MAKE HUGE DIFFERENCE
We are aware, there are some things which we’ve to take seriously in life and there are also the ones which could be ignored. But there are events which we think insignificant for our lives can also impact our life hugely. Ignoring these could do irreparable damage to our life. Even a screw in the machine could make the working of that machine dysfunctional. Similar is the case with our life.
TIMES WAITS FOR NONE
It is a fact that time waits for none, it just passes on leaving us high and dry. If we do not avail the present moment and remain procrastinating then we shall lose our grip and waste it therefore we have to keep a tight leash on time and realize the purpose of our life here on this earth.
Eternal time is the primeval source of the interactions of the three modes of material nature. It is unchangeable and limitless, and it works as the instrument of the Supreme Personality of Godhead for His pastimes in the material creation.—Srimad-Bhagavatam.
Whatever we are and whatever we have got is due to the blessings of our God. By doing so, we are opening a window of opportunity for new vistas in life which are owing to the grace of God. Our physical, mental and relationship with others too are subject to all-around wel-lbeing. These too are possible due to His blessings. Every moment given us to breathe and live in appropriate atmosphere is also due to HIS BOUNTIES. Therefore, we have to thank Him for everything. In Bible it has been mentioned ‘Enter his glory with thanksgiving and his courts with praise, give thank to him and praise his name.
FORGIVING AND FORGETTING
Our relationship with others is important for us since we cannot transact all our functions in isolation. Therefore, whenever we experience any difference, it should not be allowed to deteriorate any further in the spirit of forgiving and forgetting. In this way, many of relations could be saved. According to Bhagwad Gita,
Forgiveness through spiritual transmission is a divine quality.
GIVING GIVES US SATISFACTION
If we meet somebody’s need, it gives us satiety thereby making us happy. We cannot compensate this happiness with anything else under the sun. The gift which is given to one who does no service in return, with the feeling that it is one’s duty to give and which is given at the right place, in right time and to a worthy person is considered as “Saattvika Daana”. The donations that are given to the right person at the right place and time, and in the spirit that charity is a bounden duty done without any expectation, are said to be good.
LEARN TO SAY SORRY OR OFFERING APOLOGY
We, as humans, tend to do commit some mistake unintentionally, thereby creating a misunderstanding between us and others. This results in animosity between even the fast friends. If we take recourse to say four-letters word SORRY, matters could be amiably be settled.
Don’t let guilt linger in your heart. Go apologize, say I’m sorry, and make things right – Bible.
EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS FOR GOOD OF A MAN
It should always be remembered that everything that happens has a reason but we have to get experience from that happening. If the experience is bad, then we learn something out of that happening.
WHEN NOTHING WORKS ACCEPTANCE IS THE BEST COURSE
There are occasions when all our sincere and best efforts are not enough to acquire the intended results, in that case, the only option left with us is acceptance. Otherwise, we may fall into the web of our own creation leading to more unacceptable contradictions.
PROCRASTINATION IS BAD HABIT
There are the people who are in the habit of putting off things thereby reaching a stage where retrieval is not possible. Therefore, the best course is to solve the contentious issue then and there. One who performs actions inconsistently, who is careless, who is vulgar, who insults others, who is pretentious and indolent, who procrastinates unable to timely accomplish what one boasted, who has an acute lack of discrimination. Such a one is unremittingly situated in tama guna the mode of ignorance – BHAGWAD GITA
Those who love themselves can love others too because that becomes a habit of such a person. Therefore, self-care is essential for taking care of others.
DO NOT BLAME OTHERS FOR YOUR FAULTS
It has been observed that we tend to blame others for what is happening in our lives without going into the cause and effect of the same. It should be kept in mind that we are the responsible for our conduct and affects thereto. Blaming others for our state of affairs is too bad.
SEEK GOD WHEN ALONE OR WHEN WITH A GROUP OF PEOPLE
When in solitude, we can seek our God with sincerity to compensate our loneliness. His name could also be taken while amongst the people around. Naam is the great creative and controlling power of God.
Naam has no beginning and no end. It is unchanging, ancient and eternal and it is the life current which pervades the entire creation. The withdrawal of Naam from creation would lead to its decay and destruction – Guru Granth Sahib.
WHEN NOTHING WORKS, SILENCE WORKS BETTER
It should never be forgotten that nobody has ever won an argument or talking without mincing any words. Many of our differences in the families and friends could be solved when we tend to be silent/ tranquil when our point of view in words is not understood despite repeated try. Silent meditation has its own reward. Supreme bliss comes to a self-realized whose mind is tranquil, whose desires are under control and who is free from faults. When mind gets discipline by the practice of meditation becomes steady, one becomes content with absolute bliss, consciousness by beholding with purified intellect – Bhagwad Gita.
IGNORANCE SHOULD BE REMOVED
We should always be the student throughout our life. We can learn anything from anybody and anywhere. It should always be remembered that ignorance is synonymous with darkness and may pull us down anytime anywhere.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being my priest since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children – Bible.
LIVING ON THE EDGE
We all want to have our intended job transacted immediately but in this sort of a hurry, we just forget our own security or anticipate impending danger(s) that may come anytime. Hence our approach should be to scrutinize all angles or parameters and take corrective steps or course correction. While traveling in a bus, I observed that people were hurriedly climbing and coming out of the bus without caring for their safety. Then, I saw a person hastily climbing down from the bus while it slowed a bit before the bus stop fully, was run over by a vehicle which was coming from the same direction at a speed. He had to be taken to the hospital.
NATURE (PRAKRITI) IS A GREAT TEACHER IF WE CARE TO LEARN FROM IT
Nature is anything or everything that is not man-made/ inartificial. Essentially, if we understand nature and its working then we shall understand more than from any formal or informal teachings. Here everything is natural – may be created by the intervention of Super Natural Power. Natural environment includes all living and non-living elements and their utilization in the day to day lives. The three elements of nature Sun (which gives energy), Air (which we breathe without which we cannot survive) and Water (used variously by humans besides drinking).
Besides, the entire ecology works as a natural system which includes all the flora and fauna, rocks, soil and what is contained in it. It also includes environment and all the natural phenomenon and material/physical phenomenon. Natural environment includes all living and non-living elements and their utilization in the day to day lives.
INNOVATION IN EDUCATION
For any education to be of utility, it is necessary that we know the language(s) so as to understand the underlying meaning of the subjects we are delving on. When we know only one language, we may not be able to get what is contained in written texts in other language(s). In this, it is important that we know fully our mother tongue, one regional language, the national language and a common language which is spoken globally.
Education is like a tree; root embedded into the ground and giving its nutrition to all the parts of the body. The more knowledge we attain through our self-efforts, the more informed we become.
In the year 2021, I shall try to sincerely follow the following:-
• Adopt patience and tolerance through experimentation and practice.
• Remaining calm in emergency contingencies.
• Leading a spiritually oriented life.
• Unlearning some bad habits and not care to cultivate any bad habit afresh.
• I shall experience and face life squarely rather than quitting.
• Self-belief and belief in God to be paramount.
• Evolving through practice.
• Becoming more self-aware and self-conscious.
• Become a witness to a change.
• Always remember that nobody has seen tomorrow.
• Try for self-actuation and self-realization.
• Giving more credence to truth, love, and enlightenment.
• Perfection is good enough, no doubt in that, but it should not be at the cost of our health and our wellbeing.
• If health is lost for the fructification of our ambition then we shall not be able to enjoy the fruits of that success.
• Learning from the mistakes and making these mistakes as stepping stone for success, of course without carrying the baggage.