Dear class of 2020,
One year ago today, I published a blog on the key lessons I extracted from the previous 5 years. And since it was both popular in my head and amongst you readers, I naturally thought I should do it again in the future. But, little did I know the future would catch up to us so quickly! So here we are, standing just a few foot steps past the gate of 2020, trying to look at 2021 in the eye with last year’s chains still around our ankles.
Pardon me for being slightly sensational, but I do feel that 2020 has been more of a teacher than 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 combined. Was it good? Was it bad? Only time will tell.
LESSON 1: Life’s fragile. Even the strongest and biggest man in the world can break his knee.
LESSON 2: Innovation is key. Sustained stagnation will transform your biggest success into your biggest failure, so keep moving!
LESSON 3: Power corrupts all. Don’t blindly believe the people in power have your best interests, or that they don’t prioritise their own, because they do. And yes, that includes breaking the very rules they expect you to stick to.
LESSON 4: Make the most out Life’s stop signs. Make sure you create your own stop signs on your path, even just once a year. That will make any future crisis feel less foreign and more like home. Use the time, space, energy and change of pace, to figure out what you really want to do with the time that is given to you in this body.
LESSON 5: Convenience has a costly price. Every bit of consent that we give to companies and governments to make our life “easier”, is also a wide open door for them to pet our dog, break our favourite coffee mug, educate our children, and sleep with our spouse. Just kidding. Not.
LESSON 6: In nature we can trust. As the world gets further and further ‘technified’, we must make sure we spend more time in nature and in tune with its rhythmic wisdom.
LESSON 7: Open up to thy neighbour’s paradigm. Yes, we all have our opinions and beliefs, but let’s all remember that we are more similar than we are different. Do not let any corporate or political agenda divide us, for it will be very easy for ill-intentioned forces to control us to the bone if we do. Try to understand people you disagree with and who disagree with you. Open up your mind, and most importantly your heart.
And to conclude, here are some of the actions I believe can help the World recover.
ACTION 1: Vote with your money. Support ethical, small, and local (when possible) businesses.
ACTION 2: Don’t accept rules and regulations just because they don’t affect you. Because one day they will, and in the unlikelihood that they don’t, they certainly will affect someone you love and who loves you.
ACTION 3: Meditate (my favourite is sound bathing, and kundalini yoga). It’s a civic duty.
ACTION 4: Help people by using the gifts that were given to you. Aim to always leave the room in a better shape than you found it.
ACTION 5: Create more, consume less.
Illustration by Julie Cosendai (Third Ear, 2017)