The First Step
2020 has finally made way to a New Year full of hope. The year gone by may be best forgotten by many, especially those who have lost dear ones or had narrow escapes themselves. It has also been immensely distressing for those who have lost jobs, livelihood and even roofs over their heads. It has at the same time made us conscious of our environment and more importantly of our mortality. Suddenly, humanity appears to be frail for we can’t take anything for granted. Not that it has anytime been different because the difference between life and death has always been just one breath.
It is therefore a time not exactly of rejoicing but of expressing gratitude. Survival during these challenging times is indeed a blessing and we need to be grateful to the Supreme power for bestowing us with more time. It is indeed a sombre thought that it has been quite a close call for many of us.
It is quite a known fact that people’s attitudes and paradigms change drastically after life-changing experiences such as what we have collectively witnessed in the last one year. One major realization that has engulfed humanity is that our mutual time with each other can at times be extremely limited. No more can we take each other’s presence or company for granted. What we have for the remainder of our lives therefore needs to be valued and celebrated. If that be so, the futility of estranged relations and conflict with dear ones and even not-so-dear ones suddenly begins to dawn on us. This kind of realization has often been reported by people who have had near-death experiences, are terminally ill or are at the sunset stage of their lives.
Like it or not, this year has forced many of us to reflect with regard to our relationships. New ones have been formed but many have gone sour while some old ones remain in a state of limbo. Underlying reasons are well known; ego, indifference, distrust, greed, anger, lack of communication and often an absence of love & care. Undoubtedly, any garden or relationship which is not nurtured will become unmanageable and irretrievable at some stage. The key is not to let these sort of misunderstandings and divergences to fester before they engulf us in permanent downward spirals.
We all have our hopes, fears and needs and we often acknowledge the same in others during our reflective moments. We want to make amends but our old enemy ‘ego’ comes to the fore yet again and firmly denies any forward movement. After all, it was the other person’s fault and he/ she must take the first step by apologising or at least acknowledging his/her mistake. For all we know, the perspective on the other side of the fence may be exactly identical. Our inherent goodness wants to restore strained relations but somehow, we tend to fall short of taking the ‘first step’ to re-establish communications.
It has been universally seen that once any protagonist in the conflict-zone takes this ‘first step’, the subsequent restoration and revival is relatively very easy and welcome. Conflict creates imbalance and unhappiness and is not good for our health and immune system. It is often inevitable but more often than not really worth it.
Solutions are really simple. All we need is to drill down to the root cause of the problem and recognize and acknowledge our own culpability. The key battle to let go the resentment and the associated justifications we have created in our hearts and minds, is really within ourselves. After that, re-establish communications with ‘friends and foes’ and mutually work towards a happy conflict-free existence. All that is required is to replace negativity with love, respect and optimism. Let us cherish the beauty of life and goodness in humanity.
Fickle like a bubble indeed is existence. Regrets while we live need to be eliminated so that there are non at the moment of departure. Let us therefore not be afraid to take the ‘first step’ before it is too late. It might surely be really worth it!
Wishing you all a Covid-free and conflict-free New Year 2021.
With Love, Horax