HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018 (Equality, Competition, Normality & Moderation)

30 DEC, 2017
by Bikash Mohanty

There is no way to avoid the fact that all things must come to an end. When reading a book, we can’t begin the next chapter until we finish the previous one. Like-wise. There is nothing to fear when a cycle is complete. One year comes to a close and the opportunities of the next one appear.  The caterpillar gives way to the magic of the butterfly. Imagine what we want to bring into life and what we might be willing to set aside to make room for the future to unfold better. That is all. That is all we can do at this juncture.

How can anyone be hopeful in such uncertain times? Why not? They say, change is just a part of life. Different people have different ways to anticipate and apprehend change. For me; I hope 2018 brings following changes all around. And you? Thought about it?

  • EQUALITY: That; we stop chasing equality between men and women. I feel, that is a political propaganda forced upon us to create division and benefit certain groups in the society. Instead we (men and women) shall respect one another's strength and build a world around it. Equality does not mean – men and women to be exactly same. Its not possible. Equality means equal opportunity, equal regards, equal respect, but not sameness of action. If we focus on wrong thing (to be exactly same) we shall only invite give-take relationship, even at home. Feelings, love, sympathy, care like qualities will evaporate from our reach.  There will be business-like-dealings; both outside and at home. I cant imagine that! Can you? But then who cares? What we inspire, that we transpire. In our technologically advanced society, we don’t need a man to do physical/outdoor activities only and women to take care of the home/children. Both can do almost everything except for giving birth. I have male friends, who chose to stay at home and take care of kids, while allowing their wife to prosper in their respective career. I do have similar example in my family too.  They did that because; it was the most sensible thing to do. In these examples; man and woman are not bothered with their sexuality. They are only working towards a common objective “F A M I L Y” and betterment of it. The more compulsive we are with the sexuality; we start stepping on our opposite sex and create troubles. My maid servant at London home works at various households from 08:30am until 10:00pm in the night. She is perfect in every aspect of domestic household work. But she does not have interest to clean or cook at her own home. Why? Because; by working at other’s house she earns money and money allows her to be free, have freedom. Freedom & self-esteem are the highest significance one can wish for, much more than wealth in today’s world. What happens with her family life? Who cares? She does not. Why should we bother? Increased population world-wide is creating a serious threat to our sustainability right now. Time has come when couples without any children will be soon rewarded at work or by the government/society. And when that happens; we CAN-NOT identify ourselves with our womanhood or manhood anymore. We simply have to live as a piece of life, that’s all. Marriage will happen, when there is a strict physical, psychological and emotional need; definitely not due to social/economical/family pressure. It is time for us to appreciate the uprising and change our attitude towards this. If not; time will surge ahead…only we shall stay back with the past…alone.
  • COMPETITION: Does money make us happy? Conventional wisdom says that after achieving a basic living standard, which varies by country, religion and by region, more money does not result in proportionately greater happiness. In 2018 Bhutan is introducing an ambitious initiative to offer a more visionary answer to this perennial question. For more than six decades Bhutan has followed a development policy inspired by the concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH). GNH promotes society’s happiness through a balanced, sustainable, inclusive and equitable development model. I hope all countries should take inspiration from this initiative; rather than racing to occupy NO 1 spot in world-power ranking, at the cost of the mother-earth (Pollution, Population, Global warming, Sustainability, Water scarcity, increased-agricultural-land conversion, lack of vegetation, declining agriculture, food scarcity and …what not); we should prioritize mindful living and live less for others by participating in the 24x7 competition or showcasing our status in the social media platforms.
  • NORMALITY: The more and more we try to be special, the further and further we go from being special. So much suffering and mental illness have come from this desire to be special. So instead of deriving perverse pleasure from the fact that somebody does not have what we have, if we genuinely make the effort to become one with everything, then this internal struggle will completely go away. If we recognize our uniqueness and also every other being’s uniqueness, we can neither become less nor more than anyone else. More than anything; this attitude is important for our own well-being and health. Every cell in our body, including our brain cells, are taken over by hormones which compel and propel us in certain direction where it finds comfort. It takes enormous intelligence of a person to rise beyond those illusions. Otherwise the illusions will soon become coexisting reality that will be hard to get rid of.
  • MODERATION with SOCIAL MEDIA USAGE: Few days ago I was listing to this inspirational speech of my best friend at the “Tech Bhubaneswar” to a gathering of 600+ young techies. I learnt something about a neurochemical called “Dopamine”. Have you heard about it before? Social media affects the brain in the same way that a warm hug does. You know how you get a rush after completing a good workout or when you’ve wowed by your boss with a winning boardroom presentation? That rush of happiness and contentment is thanks to dopamine, a neurochemical known as the “reward molecule” that’s released after certain human actions or behaviors, such as exercising, or setting and achieving a goal. While physical activity is most commonly linked to dopamine’s release, one form of modern-day, sedentary behavior now gets some credit, too. According to a study of Australian consumers by San Francisco-based media-buying firm RadiumOne, social media usage is a dopamine gold mine. “Every time we post, share, ‘like,’ comment or send an invitation online, we are creating an expectation,” according to the study. “We feel a sense of belonging and advance our concept of self through sharing.” I did bit of a research and guess what I found? Having too much dopamine in the wrong place can make us psychotic. Therefore high amounts of dopamine can cause depression, Inability to handle stress, fatigue, mood swings, Inability to concentrate, ADHD, forgetfulness, failure to finish tasks, euphoria, aggression and intense sexual feelings. Sound familiar? if yes, correction needed to our usage pattern of social media.

2017 has been the best year for me personally in last 10 years. I travelled so much (3 times to India, Weekly to France, Twice to Switzerland, Twice to Spain); Work-satisfaction; recognization at work; Welfare of good friends (Glad that everything materialized for them after 10 years of hard work); holiday with best friends; Association with positive/like-minded people; and the sister is expecting her second child before end of 2017 and many more! Nope; I wont say that I had all and only positive developments. I had my own share of miseries as well. Absolute normal. But let them be gone-by gone. Who cares about them right now?! ;)

I must apologise, for not being able to post a blog in long time. I was missing my inspiration. We all do different things… because of different inspirations and my inspiration for writing had taken a massive setback in Feb 2017 time. Good news is we never stay in a status forever. I don’t believe when some say they have attained nirvana. It’s all good now. We are back in track. We shall interact through this medium more regularly going forward. J I feel good, when I do.

New Year Resolution? To cut down on my work a bit. I am doing way too much. So much so that, I am unable to catch up regularly with friends and family members. I feel bad. It is important. I hope I will be able to do that more in 2018. My little son has a lot of recommendation that I have to take care of as well. I started coffee in December 2017 having stopped it for close to 3 years. I am stopping it again as we bid adieu to 2017. It’s not my cup-of-coffee. My body can’t handle it. I shall be completing 3+ years as being a vegetarian and a teetotaller on 31st December 2017. I am enjoying that part of it and it shall continue into the NY. Enough of it. I am not a machine. I can only do so much. What is yours? Anything exciting ?

Our bottled up optimism is ready to be savoured ALMOST. 2018 is about to break in. It might not contain stability. But it holds joy. Let’s open it! Let’s find out what the future has in store for us… shall we? Let’s welcome 2018 in Swag style? Wishing you and yours a safe and truely pleasurable New Year's Eve and every succcess in 2018. Love you all. Take very good care of yourself and let’s connect again in the New Year.  Goodnight, Subh-ratri and Sabah-Khair.