“I plan to exercise every day of the year, at least 5 times a week”, I said.
“Super. Do you think you can keep it up?”
“I am not sure”, I said. In fact, I was in my mind pretty sure that I would not be able to stick to it. I knew that sooner than later, something or the other would come up. Work, fatigue or just plain indifference. And then I would have people, including me, sneer at myself.
Desire is half of life, indifference is half of death. – Kahlil Gibran.
New Year is a good time to sit down to introspect; a milestone of sorts. If nothing else, we may just want to feel grateful for having seen another year through. On most occasions, I make some resolutions. And when I look back, I realize that almost every time, I have broken just about every resolution. Over time, it had made me cynical. The last year, I decided not to resolve anything, if I remember right.
“What was proudest moment?”, “What was an unforgettable incident?” and so on, I was asked recently. It was a good way to remember the year that had gone by. Much after that conversation ended, I was alone, and was lying down. It was one of those quiet nights, laden with mixed emotions. I wondered to myself if there was anything I did not like, about myself or my actions, in the last year. It dawned on me, as I was thinking about the same time a year ago, that I had grown to be terribly cynical in 2013. Looking back, it had probably happened gradually and over a period of time. It is a pity, for I have had a comfortable life. I realize, not without shame, that I have had every reason to feel grateful, and none whatsoever, to have grown cynical. In that sense, gratitude can be a beautiful and uplifting way of life. I am not sure why as we grow up, we become more cynical.
Children are a wonder, in that sense, that they are so much more open to everything. Their never ending enthusiasm and constant wonderment, and a mind bereft of even a hint of cynicism is an inspiration.
And so I decide that this year, I will sit down to make my resolutions, again. Oh, it may take a while and we’re already into 2014. Yet, we know that deep inside, such occasions, are but symbols. And it is the spirit behind the symbol that matters, not dates and such lesser things. I will have to think through the list well; but I am sure of one of the items on that list. I resolve to be more grateful, and less cynical.
And to begin the New Year, I leave you all with this prayer, so beautifully reflecting the crux of Sanatana Dharma, a culture to which I have been so proud and grateful to belong. This is a prayer, that has been a part of my daily chanting, ever since the time I can remember. In fact, chants have come and gone, by season and by evolution, yet for some reason, this one has remained with me, for which too, I am grateful.
सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः।
सर्वे सन्तु निरामयः॥
सर्वे भद्राणि पस्यन्तु।
माँ कश्चित् दुखभागभवेत॥
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः॥
Happy New Year.