G&H- The Two Takeaways of the post-pandemic world- Gratitude & Hope
As 2021 comes to an end, I thought of looking back in what has been a topsy turvy year. We are at the end of the second year in the post-pandemic world that has changed so many things or the ways and methods we operate our daily lives. If there are two powerful words that I can relate to or whose meaning I have experienced in its truest form in the past two years, it will undoubtedly be Gratitude & Hope. These are my two takeaways from the past couple of years.
I have always believed in the idea of celebrating & appreciating human beings for their presence and contributions to our lives. It’s a virtue that we ought to be regularly doing, more frequently because unknowingly, we underappreciate or do not give some people their fair due for what they do for us. So at least once in a while, if not frequently, it’s essential to let them know how much they mean to you.
And that’s what is the first pillar of satisfaction, in my opinion- Gratitude. There’s no one way of expressing it. Some people express it via drawing and painting, some with poems, some by making sketches and the remaining ones, like me, who cannot do anything of the sort as mentioned above, find comforts in personalized letters.
The power of words is indeed magical. I have found my source of expressing gratitude in the form of a letter. So unknowingly, it has become a ritual for me to write notes on different occasions like birthdays for example to express gratitude in the past few years. The satisfaction after writing it is supreme. And at the end of the day, nothing matters more than satisfaction and happiness for a healthier mental space.
I don’t exactly remember what triggered me to open the door of gratitude in my life, but one thing I can say with certainty is that it has opened a couple of other new doors for me in life. Mahatma Gandhi once said, “I cried because I had no shoes, then I met a man who had no feet.”
If Gratitude is an acknowledgement for the past, Hope is for the future. A perfect blend of Gratitude & Hope makes the present more exciting. If 2020 strengthened the spirit of gratitude 2021 reaffirmed my belief in hope. Unlike gratitude, I was never a big fan of hope. But the pandemic indeed changed it. If there’s one thing that you can rely on when you feel that all doors are shut, that’s hope. Hope will rarely disappoint you. Hope is a powerful word which we, unfortunately, use very casually, and that’s what has led to, in my opinion, the loss of its deeper meaning that it actually should be used for.
Hope is the fuel that keeps the human mind running in dark times and deep waters. Choose hope over fear on any given day. There’s a famous quote which I try to remember when sailing through tough times from the movie “The Shawshank Redemption”, the one movie that has had the most significant impact on me, “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies”.
There’s a light, a kindred spirit in each of us that can never be snuffed out, which won’t give up even in the darkest moments when one feels that there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. Because even when our back is against the wall determined to destroy this spirit, there’s always some part within us that fights back and thrives. And that’s hope. When you experience loneliness and relative isolation, there’s something that keeps being optimistic about the fact that those who once may have left you will come to your aid in your moment of crisis. And that’s hope.
A perfect blend of hope and gratitude will definitely generate a sense of living in the present moment. Hope never disappoints. We cannot be grateful and fearful at the same time as they are two sides of the same coin. Therefore, gratitude and hope over the fear of the unknown reduces the anxiety and help a lot in dealing with the brewing uncertainty.
The pandemic has taught us so many things. But above all, my biggest takeaways from the past two years will undoubtedly be gratitude and hope.