A year of gratitude and a new year for giving

24 hours from now most of our phones will be flooded with ‘New Year’ messages. Those inactive WhatsApp groups that you were once part of; will pop out a message or two out of the blue. New resolutions will be made and in a majority of the cases, old resolutions (most popular being ‘lose weight’) will be recycled for yet another year.

In between the hurry-burry of the holiday season, amidst the parties and the shopping malls, and when I got a moment to elude the bright screen of my phone, I saw a banner that caught my attention: “As per World Bank, nearly half the world’s population lives on less than $5.50 a day”. Most of us end up spending more than that daily at Starbucks!

My curiosity made me Google this topic further; little did I know that I was opening Pandora’s Box. I learned that simple things in life, like access to a Loo at my home (especially after binge-watching Netflix drinking diet Cola), make me luckier than 2.3 billion people (with no access to toilets) around the world. While I struggle to choose between red and white sauce pasta, every day an innocent child dies of hunger every five seconds. If you are reading this article on your laptop or mobile, with enough food and clean water in your kitchen and sitting at the comfort of your home, you are luckier than most (upwards of 75%) of the people in the world.

With all these statistics occupying my mind, I started looking at life with a lens of gratitude. Suddenly and not surprisingly, my life’s pressing and enormous issues seemed silly. This reminded me of a quote from the book ‘Life’s Amazing Secrets by Gaur Gopal Das’: ‘Stop and reflect on your life regularly. Pressing the pause button to practice gratitude is the way to make it a constant in your life’.

Gratitude is an amazing thing. In the weighing machine of life, at any point in time, I have more things to be grateful for than to be sad. With this lens, if I look back at 2019, I am grateful for the blessings I have in life — family, friends, a job that I love, means to follow my passion, getting a driver’s license after much procrastination, time to play ‘God of War’ on my PS and many more.

This lens of gratitude also morally obliges me to give back to society. Along with resolutions about ‘learning a new skill’ or ‘travelling more’, the least I can do is to add few resolutions that impact people other than just ‘Me’. These resolutions could be as simple as, helping one needy person in 2020 or as big as, crowdfunding a village in India to build toilets.

Hence, to walk the talk, I have made three resolutions for 2020 with the lens of gratitude. One of my resolutions is to write an article encouraging other people to make resolutions for 2020 with a lens of gratitude and giving. Hopefully, I can sign-off on that -)

As for the other two, I will write about them soon.