Here’s to a grand new year! Sensitivity, kindness and gratitude must be the loudest sounds we hear in 2021

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January 4, 2021 6:00 AM

As a result of the pandemic, tens—maybe hundreds—of millions of people stepped out to help others far more than they usually did

Indeed, the US is coming to grips with the fact that its economic system is failing badly.Indeed, the US is coming to grips with the fact that its economic system is failing badly.

In 2020, many of our brothers and darlings have suffered horribly, including losing close family and friends and falling sick. For them, we need to make sure that 2021 is the start of a real human revolution, where sensitivity, kindness, patience and gratitude are the loudest sounds we hear going forward.

And the good news is that it is already happening. As a result of the pandemic, tens—maybe hundreds—of millions of people stepped out to help others far more than they usually did. Having learned the joy of giving/helping/supporting, it easily turns into a habit.

Social media, too, which had certainly been responsible for some of the horrific attitudes that build up all over the world over the past couple of decades, is turning around.

Today, everybody knows that much of what you see on Facebook and Twitter and on and on is just manufactured garbage; its impact will decline rapidly and the joyous part of social media—finding someone you knew when you were 10, or better yet, having friends from Facebook in different parts of the world who have never met each other become friends—will begin to take over. This is the real—and, let me say, intended—power of social media: to create a global village, thank you,

Mr McLuhan.
Of course, the commercial forces that have taken control of this dream need to be cut to size, and the good news is that—finally—the US is joining up with the effort that the EU has been driving for several years. It may be a bit early, but it’s time to short the FAANGS.

Indeed, the US is coming to grips with the fact that its economic system is failing badly.

I have an aunt who has lived in America for six decades; she moved there when she got married, her husband was a successful engineer, she ran a travel business, they had two kids and were living the American dream—she was so into it, I used to call her Mrs America. Her husband passed away some time ago, and while she’s in reasonably good health, she is 87-years old and is living alone now, and despite all their savings, social security and the rest, she is really concerned about getting by even reasonably.

We were talking about it a couple of days ago and realised that she would be so much better off in India (where there is a lot of family) or any other “developed” country in Europe or Canada, where healthcare and education are free, and she would be able to have someone come in or stay in to take care of her.

Well, the good news—unfortunately, perhaps not for her—is that the long brainless (I would rather say that than heartless) economic cycle that began with Reagan in 1980 is turning fast. Hopefully, the Democrats will win both the Georgia senate seats and Biden will begin to look like his fellow Democrat, Bernie Sanders.

Of course, here in India, we have a completely different set of problems. It is difficult to call our government brainless since it is certainly very, very shrewd and because it seems to enjoy having the word “HEARTLESS” written clearly all over its face; however, looking to the future of the country, its approach is as brainless as the trickle-down that has been driving America into a hole.

Clearly, it is ‘time up’—talk to the minorities, talk to the farmers, talk to anyone who is truly a Hindu; the turning point will come when India’s largest minority, the women, stand up and demand that they are treated equally as everyone else. It is coming—maybe not tomorrow, but definitely the day after.

To be sure, we all have to work for it; to prepare ourselves to manage this change and to ensure that the country is run with the sensitivity, kindness and patience that 2020 has taught us.

Significantly, 2020 has also taught us the truth that quantum physicists, (some) acidheads and all true Hindus know—sab likha hai!

It doesn’t matter who you are, how smart you are, how rich you are—life will get you if it wants to; there’s nothing you can do about it. To be sure, you have to do your job ; be sensible, keep a safe distance, wear your mask, keep yourself sanitised, but it your number is up, it is UP.

As it says in the Bhagvad Gita, your only job is to do the work and not even look at the result.

Love and joy and Happy New Year!

The author is CEO, Mecklai Financial

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