Hard by Indu Balakrishnan

The popular opinion in the world today is that 2020 was a really hard year. And it was for most, to various degrees. But the number of stories of strength, resilience and bravery were also numerous. Overcoming challenges at the home front, work, medically and emotionally was not easy by any standards. Normal life was hit. Life as we knew it was no longer a viable option. Simple things like going for a walk or ordering pizza on a whim was ruled out. It was hard to do the usual stuff. It changed the way we saw life, as well. It was most definitely an eye-opener. 

For the sake of trying to get back to normal life, many tried to pick lifestyle over health and life itself. Wasn’t that an odd choice? Think about it. Now we are actually talking about first-world problems versus third-world. In some parts of the world, it was a choice between living life without a fancy meal from a restaurant or being safe from the virus. In other parts, it was having to choose between dying from hunger or dying from the virus. All hard choices individually but perspective puts them in place, doesn’t it? 

The consequence of trying to have a normal life prematurely can have serious consequences. Not only would the number of cases increase, but it would also prolong the journey to normal. 

The pandemic has changed the world forever. The shift in political and economic power is just the beginning. School-from-home could give rise to the number of home-schooled children simply because we have now realised the advantages of the same. Same with work-from-home as well. Why rent massive buildings and pay electricity and transport charges when the same amount of work can be done by the employees from home? In fact, many believed that productivity improved when working from home. (This cannot be said for everyone, of course, especially the work-from-home moms.). 

We found out that the milk-man, vegetable & grocery vendor and the maid are the ones that we cannot live without. Everything else is a luxury.  The change in consumer behaviour is the biggest of them all. When you no longer want to buy junk food, leather couches or couture, the thought processes of businesses also change. 

Our growth came when we realised that we do not have to experience life the way we have been told to. The hard choices that were made during the pandemic were found to have made their lives easier. 

2020 is the year of vision indeed. It gave us a true perspective of what is hard, indeed. And how lucky many of us are today if we just put everything in perspective and took a view of the bigger picture. 

The word ‘hard’ would never be abused again. 

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