For some it’s that sheer happiness of togetherness after long separations, for others, the loneliness that comes with estranged family situations and for some, the hopelessness in earth-shattering post-disaster situations. It is especially heart-breaking this year to think of the over 6,000 people who perished in the Philippines’ recent typhoon and the over 11,000 children whose future was cut short in Syria.
Still, magically and as inevitably as you must to go on – you see HOPE. Hope and faith, the all crucial elements to let you know that there’s always a tomorrow, there’s always new beginnings, renewed energy to put things right and foundations to be built for new aspirations for the coming year – when you know and hope things will be somewhat better!
It’s not often you take stock of all the events surrounding your life. Still, comes the Season and somehow somewhere the mind looks back at the year – be it in the middle of all the parties or quiet times spent wrapping gifts or writing cards or in that blink of perspective that comes with helping out communities in need. That overwhelming urge to see where you are now, who you are now, compared to last year. That sense of accomplishment or regret. That sense of pride or remorse. Your faith in yourself and others.
I look back at mine, my families’ and friends’. I see my friend who is relieved and happy to finally get her hands on her dream job after an arduous long search, a couple content and excited with the new house just bought after a thousand deliberations, another friend finally diagnosed right with her illness and long-awaited surgery finally happening, but then also making her mark in writing; a family member moving forward after ending an unhappy marriage, a friend so excited with her own entrepreneurial adventure, another blessed with a third child – the boy they wanted after their two girls! I look at my husband, whose mom made a miraculous recovery at the ICU and facing yet another suffering with an elbow fracture!
I look at our 3 year old son, who has taken some big grown up steps of his own, having given up his beloved potty chair and pram. He, who was also made a big brother by our new niece, now wants to be a jetsetter in his own helicopter! I look at him struggling at the Christmas play at school tearing up and wondering what all the fuss is about! I look at myself, wrapped warm in the joys of being a mom, finally tackling some projects long on the backburner, re-learning the familiar passions of writing and studying.
We are taught to dream big and pushed to live big. But then again it’s the smallest things that seem to make us happy! A house, a job, a child, good health, a good companion in life, a sense of purpose, a sense of passion.
I look at Nelson Mandela, a life that has taken our breath away, where the true potential of a human heart and spirit is shown to a magnitude, I fear, compared to none! He shows to what extent and depth a human can go in compassion and patience; in forgiveness and respect; and above all, the extent of his faith in himself and in human kind.
In this race track of a world we live in, it is indeed good to get some moments to look around, to reflect and take stock. The freedom and comforts of modern life that we so often take for granted, for the lack of knowledge of the struggles gone by at a time we did not live. The more and more we want, as human as we all are!
Yes, it is indeed good to get this time – to simply be thankful; to realise and appreciate your blessings; to recognise how far you have come, how far you have grown; to see how much you have touched, healed and helped each other’s lives. It’s a time to be grateful that you are simply alive and free, having the comforts that many dream/ed of in past and present, grateful for your ancestors and their ways of life, that have led you to who you are today. You also want more growth for betterment of you and for betterment of your circle of family and friends. For surely better tomorrows are built on grateful todays.
You realise though, that there is still much to be done. Much to be done for your children’s world in the future – a challenge to keep things simple in this ever technologically transfiguring and materialistic world. Teaching your children and reminding yourselves the richness of human values and the simple pure joys of not only fulfilling your basic human needs, on your own, at your own pace and at a level that is comfortable for you but also in reaching out to others, knowing and fulfilling your revolving responsibilities.
Taking stock this Season will hopefully guide us when we go back to our daily routine come the New Year. To have focus, faith and purpose. Taking stock every Season will guide us hopefully for the betterment of our collective futures!
“To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one’s self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived—this is to have succeeded.”
― Bessie Anderson Stanley