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As the clock struck midnight on the eve of New Year, wishes began pouring in. Well, when 2020 began, it was like just another calendar year and we were all getting used to writing new dates. A couple of months passed and then came the pandemic- COVID-19 followed by total lockdown across the globe. The scenario changed quickly and panic gripped the entire human race as the pandemic spread across countries and began taking lives of hundreds and thousands. Patients of COVID were shown gasping as thousands were put on ventilators. This brought all the countries to a grinding halt which, in response to it, began locking down. The pandemic isn’t over yet and we are already in 2021!

Well, this lockdown has shown us the flip side of life; if you ask me how, I’d say all of us learnt the meaning of work-life balance, where you’re working from home and working for home! Kids got bored, parents were busy, elders had no choice and in between all this chaos, some of us had panic attacks and emotional disturbances. Unquestionably the year 2020 not only changed on calendars at our homes but it changed practically with some astringent effects in our lives.

The year 2020 threw a bag of wrenches into everyone’s plans. For better or worse year 2020 has changed us all. And now looking back, we can see the lessons we have learnt about health, resilience, community, human power etc that will hopefully stick with us for the rest of our lives. Almost everyone must have walked off from the experiences from 2020 and I, as a student and a motivational speaker, learnt the following lessons from it:

  1. The value of Simple things (Never take anything for granted): Could we have ever imagined that the basic necessities like breathing normally (with no mask on) freely moving around, social interactions (not the virtual ones) etc would become dangerous? Learn to value, utilize and enjoy everything you have, even the simplest things. You never know when necessities become luxuries.
  2. The strength of Human adoptability: We have colossal capacity to fight whatever it may be that comes our way. All we need to do is to choose to focus on our potential to accept, adjust, adapt and thus conquer, than to focus on our helplessness. Paying attention to our impotence only makes us more helpless. Switching over to our strength helps us to deal with any challenge and even overcome it.
  3. Hope (The Most Powerful Anchor): If there be one thing that keeps us going and we should never lose, it is hope. Everything we may have lost can be recouped and we can bounce back if we have hope. Meanwhile, the principle of being positive cannot be toxically applied to anything and everything. It is so painful that so many had to lose their dear ones due to COVID-19 and that is an irreparable loss. My prayers for those who couldn’t survive the pandemic and for their families as well.
  4. Humanity is not dead: The pandemic showed us how there is so much goodness that still exists in the world. So many wonderful souls walked the extra mile, made personal sacrifices, extended themselves to serve others without any cupidity (in small or big ways) thereby hosting the flag of love, kindness and humanity.
  5. Responsibility: When we humans were away, Mother Nature returned back to her pristine beauty. Other species like the trees, birds, animals or other aquatics found themselves safe and secure. The water bodies were clean, the sky was clear, the air was free from pollution and the soil pure. This message is loud and clear. We need to act responsibly when it comes to the environment. Not only should we desire to live well but we should also leave a habitable planet for our future generation.

 Writer is a student of 12th standard and a motivational speaker.

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