2022: Explore The Unexplored

Words: Paribha VASHIST

Continuity and change is what characterises the global environment. 2022 will reflect this reality of constant flux. From changing power equations, geopolitical rivalries, and quests for hegemonic power to ‘hybrid’ work culture and virtual reality as the ‘new normal,’ 2022 would be a defining year. This will certainly demand adaptability and openness to change at the individual as well as community levels.

As Omicron cases surge worldwide, fears and anxiety from our past experiences of COVID-19 surges, mar our future plans and courses of action. ‘Unpredictability’ has become the buzzword to describe the last two years and 2022 is showing signs of surpassing the ‘essence of unpredictability’ that we’ve come to terms with.

In this scenario, should we forgo our much-loved exercise of brainstorming resolutions for the year ahead? Should we stop promising to ‘eat healthy’ and ‘exercise daily’ — goals that a majority of us miserably fail to achieve from January 1?

Gregory David Roberts gives a thought-provoking insight, in his highly acclaimed novel, Shantaram, “The past reflects eternally between two mirrors — the bright mirror of words and deeds, and the dark one, full of things we didn’t do, or say.” Unless we ‘keep still’ for a moment, we can never self-reflect and improve as individuals. By spending time thinking about the mistakes we made, the people we hurt unknowingly, and the things we should mend, we can strive to be a better version of ourselves.

Every New Year gives us this opportunity to pause in this fast-paced, dynamic world and [re]think about ourselves. It is a chance for us to listen to our inner voice and embrace our humanness.

Here’s a broad framework for you to make realistic resolutions in these uncertain times:

  • Develop the ability to be flexible. Consider learning a wide array of skills and embracing pluralities of opinion. Having a rigid attitude and a fixed set of beliefs would make this year extremely challenging for you. Instead, resolve to read and openly listen to countering voices and not be swayed by the meta-narratives. Always question every information you consume because the world is becoming highly polarised. As active global citizens, we can avoid the glaring possibility of an Orwellian dystopia.
  • Strive for a balanced routine. For maximum work-life satisfaction, we need to find an ideal balance: one that gives us enough time to perform our leisure activities and connect with our loved ones, while also constantly pushing us to broaden our intellectual horizons. Generally, we tend to be tilted towards one of the two extremes — either we are occupied with work 24×7, or we socialise so much that we miss our work-related targets. This imbalance leaves us in a perturbed and unhappy state — which is why we must resolve to be aware of how we spend every second of our life.
  • Remember health is wealth. The pandemic has made us realise what ‘wellness’ truly means by exposing us to its antithesis, in the physical and emotional sense. Given that we can no longer risk sidelining ‘health,’ the first step in the right direction would be to ‘recognise’ its paramount significance. As Amitav Ghosh aptly says, “Recognition is famously a passage from ignorance to knowledge.” When we are conscious that ‘being healthy’ is our core aim, we would take concrete steps to ‘up’ its essence, but again, for this to happen, enlightenment is crucial.

While we cannot accurately predict what the coming year holds for us — exciting new possibilities, or gloomy realities, or an unusual mix of both — we can at least prepare ourselves to take the challenges in our stride. Remember to never be disheartened. As Haruki Murakami articulated, “Only where there is disillusionment and depression and sorrow does happiness arise; without the despair of loss, there is no hope.”

Let’s resolve, this New Year, to never stop being sanguine about unexplored opportunities.

PARIBHA VASHIST is a first-year Bachelor of Economics student at Gargi College, University of Delhi, New Delhi. A voracious reader and a naturally gifted writer, Vashist is zealously passionate about international economics, environmental policy and sustainable development. She wishes to effectively disseminate, in her own simple, yet profound way, scientific knowledge and policy tools to bringing about a positive, healthy change in our increasingly madding world.

2 thoughts on “2022: Explore The Unexplored

  1. Charu Rishi says:

    Paribha, you are a very mature writer for your age. You are also well-read, and it shows. You are doing excellent work. Keep it up!

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