No, Not New

Let me confess at the outset that this is an iconoclastic post. I mean, but really, what is NEW about 2020? It is just another year, no?? and how will it be HAPPY I wonder? By wishing? Please…I have seen more of life to believe that!!! So I say again, No, there is NOTHING NEW in 2020. And to make it HAPPY my friend, we have work to do. Mere wishes will not help. Nor the implicit belief in what Lord Tennyson wrote ages ago: “Hope
Smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
Whispering ‘it will be happier’…”                                                               Don’t know about you all, but I have had it with the sugar syrupy, cloying New Year messages. Enough already!! Let us get on with our living!!!going on

Really, think what is New about 2020? Yes, the date changes. Possibly will lead to errors on important documents and cheque leaves being torn up, as you can’t make corrections. Besides the date change, does the life not go on as usual? So why the hype? Whenever I hear a cheery, Happy New Year, I am reminded of the stand up comic who quipped….Have told so many friends, “Happy 2020…don’t worry, the next year will be so much better than the earlier years”; I love misguiding people!!

Actually, as thinking adults, we should remember that the future is built on the past. Every new beginning, to be rock-solid, must be built on the fragments of the past. The remnants of our experiences will create the strong anchor for our uncertain future. I, for one, believe that the new year should never be based on the abandonment of the past. Child is the Father of Man, Wordsworth told us long ago. In a similar vein, our future must be rooted in our past. What we have done and achieved in 2019 and earlier, should speak to what we plan for 2020. That is why the Turkish playwright, Mehmet Murat ildan tells us, “In the New Year, never forget to thank to your past years because they enabled you to reach today! Without the stairs of the past, you cannot arrive at the future!”

begin

Yes I agree that the unknown future is full of potentialities and possibilities. Every Hero journeys from the Known to the Unknown. To that extent, the New Year promises potentiality unlimited….it is always brighter at the horizon and the unfulfilled promises beckon to us from yonder. The Italian poet Giacomo Leopardi (1798-1837)  captures it well in his Operette Morali (Small Moral Works) thus,  “Life which is beautiful is not the life that is known, but that which is not known; not the past life, but the future. With the new year, chance will begin to treat you and me and all the others well, and the happy life will begin. Non e vero?” Is it not true? (Translation using Google)

So come January, and the turn of the year, we are overwhelmed. Excited with the chance to turn over a new leaf. Do things differently. Feel that this new threshold will take us into a new trajectory, where magically the world will be congenial,  and life will be much better. But the fact is that we cannot see into the future, we cannot predict how it will treat us, where will be at the end of 2020. Only thing we can be certain is that we will again wish at the end….2021 will be Happy New Year!!!

anatole-france-new-years-quote

As we go through life, many things are thrown our way. Challenges, Achievements, Failures. We need to make our way through all of these. How you deal with both your successes, and your failures, shows your real character. None of us is born with the Magic Key, or possesses the Silver Bullet, to solve all problems & come out always successful. Life forever presents a mixed bag of results and disappointments. The true Hero does not get vibrated or vitiated from his path, come what may. S/he continues onward and forward with hope and joy, adding to  learnings and experiences, with every result… be it positive or negative. So as you prepare for the new challenges and goals, review your past achievements and failures to learn from them: what you need to do more of, to increase your “batting average”;   and what you need to do differently, to avoid “run outs”.

better

Walk through all the rooms of the past, not to look for  cracks & peeled paint, but to review the chances you missed, the potentialities you did not capture, the low hanging fruits that you could have easily gathered in your bag. Don’t look for flaws, but focus instead on the possibilities and potential that the future holds. After all, how many of us get a chance to play our innings all over again, bat once more to overcome the mistakes you made earlier and end with a better score on the scoreboard?

Let us take inspiration from the hoary essayist G K Chesterton who guides: ““The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes. … Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective.

Having said that, I will not repeat the cliche every New Year is like a new diary, a new page opens up for you to write new dreams, expound fresh aspirations or make new resolutions. Rather I will say to you….I hope you have the strength to break your New Year resolutions early!

mistages

Be open to new trajectories life wants to take you into, face every new day as though it is your last, and work to leave a positive impression and an impressive trail behind. This you can do by remaining focussed on Today, Here and Now. Don’t second guess your future. Remain open to new experiences. Seek out fresh and newer pastures. Expose. Expand. Grow. One day at a time.

flowers

Do not pre-commit to paths that you may not enjoy. Live every day as it comes. And if you are positive and exploratory, you will win. No one has a manual for Life. You are the only Pilot  you should trust with this Flight of Fancy and Journey of Finding your potential. Enjoy, 2020 and beyond. (Remember, years are just numbers!)

To end: “…last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.” – vikas, the idiot;                              echoing TS Eliot, the wise

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28 Replies to “No, Not New”

  1. Wow!
    Thank you Mr. Shirodhkar for this gripping post. A very interesting read indeed and a very unique approach to the whole concept of new year greetings , hope and resolutions.
    I really liked the idea of working towards making a new year a happy one and the comic strip beautifully sums it up- planting flowers to get flowers!
    Looking forward to your next post already.
    Much regards,
    Sincerely,
    Siroonik Sarah

    Like

  2. Very well articulated Boss, with quite a great reference and relevance.. Interestingly the tendency of us observing past with nostalgia brings despair, thinking about uncertainties of future brings anxiety, while believing in the experience and inevitability of present shall bring pleasure and excitement.. the present indeed is this new year – 2020 and the wishes per se should be sacrosanct of any reference :).. my 2 cents Sir !

    Like

    1. Thanks Ranjan
      yes the past can be a weight dragging you down
      Or the past can be a stepping stone to leap further
      In the same manner, the future can be challenging and inspiring due to its potential
      or it can be scary and disappointing because of misplaced expectations, rendering the traveller immobile, much like the kangaroos who get frozen by the car headlights, and thus die on impact as they do not move out of the line of the fast travelling car
      nevertheless, i am sure majority of us look fw to the future as it brings an unfulfilled promise with itself
      hence my comment on being in the Here & Now and just Enjoy the Ride that 2020 brings in its wake

      Like

    1. Yesh
      truly feel if you only travel the beaten path, you will do nothing new
      Mistakes expand our boundaries and take us beyond our limits
      they enable us to think and act differently
      Mistakes are teachers which enlighten your way ahead

      Like

  3. वाह, Shirodkarजी, वाह! तुमि iconoclast नाही, iconoCLASS आहे!! I had resolved to quit all my bad habits during 2020, but after reading your blog, I realize that heroes should not be quitters!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. MS
      you are more than kind
      IconoCLASS I must remember this one
      Your comment about not quitting reminded me of a Goan joke
      the village boozer was chided by the parish priest Liquor s the Enemy he said
      and our drunkard shot back….Jesus told us to love our enemies
      Bad habits are endearing and make us more human and humane
      Dont Quit
      stay well
      vikas

      Like

  4. Vikas Thanks
    For sharing excellent insights – it prodded me to reflect on the years gone by
    On NY resolutions, gave them up long back ..
    Well I do greet n accept the greetings and will continue
    Agree very much on the Here n Now

    Like

    1. Vineet
      thanks for your regular dose of encouragement
      You always compliment me for the blogs, and I have grown kind of accustomed to it now
      Our Indian philosophy also tells us to live in the Here and Now
      unfortunately we mostly spend time agonising over the past or worrying about the future
      Neither of which is helpful
      Stay happy my dear friend

      Like

  5. Vikas Thanks
    For sharing excellent insights – it prodded me to reflect on the years gone by
    On NY resolutions, gave them up long back ..
    Well I do greet n accept the greetings and will continue
    Agree very much on the Here n Now

    Like

  6. Hi Vikas

    Truth be told : All humans love to imagine & fantasize.

    They either resort to reading, viewing or living a fiction..even if it is momentary.

    Either on their own or in groups.

    In my view , hope & greetings are two nuanced versions of imagination which could also be a fantasy.

    The reasons for taking this ride into a fantasy land are many.

    And prominent amongst these could be in finding a placebo by & for a populace beleaguered with uncertainty, change & obession of media with negativity.

    Do these greetings have a real impact ? Certainly. As much as a placebo does.

    Vikas, look forward to your next blog.

    Like

    1. Nikhil
      Good perspective
      valid challenge
      Just like the placebo, to the majority this does no harm, so why deny the escapism to the masses
      my only appeal is Be in control
      do not think the date, the greeting, the season is bringing in the magic
      it is all within you and so
      Take control and be a warrior
      Change and positivity can begin any day, any date
      Fight the storms, face the seas and move your ship ahead
      just be a Captain

      Like

  7. I agree with your views entirely. In fact, I do not send even one Happy New year message to anyone and never wish anyone in person either. At best, I just reciprocate verbal wishes in person only since there is no choice really.

    One minor information – correction of dates on cheques is still permitted!

    Like

    1. PK
      did not know this
      but I applaud you for your approach
      I too gave up NY & Xmas & Seasons Greeting cards for 25 plus years now
      do acknowledge as it shows respect to the sender
      next year I will emulate your steps and stop even messaging
      Only personal wishes will be reciprocated
      I feel lighter and smarter already

      Like

  8. Quite agree with you sir. Except the psychological context of making a fresh start, there is nothing new/ different about a new year, especially if we continue to live it like the previous one.
    Plan to make many more new mistakes this year 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Madhukar
      all power to you my friend
      Making mistakes keeps the child and the clown alive in you
      I would not give that up for the world
      Mistakes help us change the course and move in a discontinuous manner
      so they are important
      as re making new beginnings…every stop is a new beginning
      Why look for bells and whistles in that
      just live on

      Like

  9. You are absolutely right, life is continuous evolution (Darwin theory) there are no breaks of periods. Change of year really brings nothing new, may be an occasion to celebrate and enjoy. Also, I don’t believe in new year resolutions, mostly never achieved and second why wait for new year for resolutions.

    Like

    1. Thanks KK for your open endorsement. I am lucky to have a like minded person making the first comment. I was worried as
      to how this blog will be looked at. But really, to me Jan 1 was just one more day

      Like

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