IT’S THE SMALL THINGS
One of my favorite Christmas songs opens with the lines, “Do you remember me? I sat up on your knee. I wrote to you in childhood fantasy.” This song, “My Grown Up Christmas List” has always made me nostalgic. It has reminded me of so many aspects of Christmas we tend to neglect, but there is no other time that I feel it resonates more than now. After all, “I’m all grown-up now, and still need help somehow. I’m not a child, but my heart still can dream. So here’s my lifelong wish, my grown-up Christmas list. Not for myself, but for a world in need….”
A world in need is the world we live in right now. If the pandemic that caught us all off-guard and that placed us on a standstill this year did not emphasize that, then I do not know what will. To value, watch over our health, and be vigilant about our everyday actions in light of how this can cause a chain reaction and affect those around us is one thing, but the realizations of human behavior – the sad truth about the greed, the hate, the pessimism, and the negligence of natural resources that has penetrated all corners of this earth – as the number one predator of this earth is another. Undoubtedly, life has changed. In varying degrees, but it surely has. And every day, I find myself pondering over the same thought: will we ever know the pre-COVID world we once lived in again?
People have chosen to live their lives differently in the past few months, and I think it will continue on for a while. And that is perfectly fine, because just like the world, we too need a break to re-focus and re-calibrate who and what truly matter to us. Human interaction these days is much more valuable than it has ever been, and that is something we totally took for granted in the past. These days, when we can, we make the choice on who to interact with and what situations to place ourselves in. Indeed, life is truly what we make of it, and now more than ever, we have the capacity to choose and make more conscious decisions. Self-preservation, if you will, with extra care and caution — that in effect, perpetuates a society of respect among others.
So if, and when life returns to how we once knew it to be, let us bring with us the learnings of the time when the world came to a halt. That at the end of the day, small acts of kindness towards others bring so much more joy than any material gift possibly can. That no amount of money can buy good health, and a clean bill of health is a priceless gift. At the end of the day, one of the truest shows of love to your loved ones is how you choose to nurture and take care of yourself in the best possible way. Time is golden, and when spent with loved ones in quality and in the way that you choose, the gift of making meaningful memories is one of the most precious you can give that can never be taken away. A lot needed to change, and a lot still needs to. The world is in the process of healing, and so are broken hearts, manipulated minds, and scarred souls.
I am certain I am not alone in wishing for a better and brighter 2021 – but as the year comes to an end, let us take the time to think of tangible ways to attain our dreams and goals. A lot of mine has most certainly changed in the way I envisioned them same time last year, but at the end of the day, I am now more confident that I know what truly matters, and that in and of itself is one of the best gifts 2020 has given me despite and through it all.