Whether you liked 2020 or not,whether it helped you or harmed you, irrespective of all that space, 2020 has undoubtedly one of the years from modern history- which I call as “A great leveller” 2020 has been a year whether you had money or not, whether you were rich or not, whether you came from a developed nation or the third world- humanity for once has been humbled and brought to face with with what nature can do and undo for all the right and wrong reasons! Join me here we take a quick look on, what I believe have been the foundational elements of 2020- the fundamental aspects of the masterclass that the year has been about- in ways more than one! So here we go!
Humility: As I said earlier, 2020, has been a masterclass on humility, whether you were a proud nation, with the most technological advancement at your disposal or whether you were a struggling nation already battling some existing challenge- as the pandemic took it’s grip and began to sweep nation after nation- it only became clear that the pandemic was dishing out a lesson in “humility”. Humility about knowing that human life is fragile as it can be, Humility about the fact that no matter how smart you think you are, when nature begins to play it’s tricks, you really don’t want to be there!, Humility about the space that having money was no guarantee of access to life and Humility brought to leaders in different areas – from Politics to Science- letting them know- once and for all- why weighing their words matter and how people see the bluff more too often then they think they do!
Re-calibration of the concept of work: People for once came face to face the real value that they hold and share in areas of their work and for once felt the impact of being value deficit either by being let off, having being asked to go or simply by the whole organization folding up! No one is suggesting that people caught up in these spaces of lay offs and pay cuts were worthless or having less value’s , but 2020, brought the singular fact to the forefront that you may be an exceptional talent, but when the corporate world begins to count it’s own vulnerabilities, you happen to be the first one that will be corrected either through a wage cut or by that golden hand shake! This has made thousands and thousands of minds across the world think for once, “was all that struggle, day in and day out to reach the so called “work place” after all really worth it- at the cost of personal relations, family time and self-development time! 2020, has indeed paved the way for a new definition of meaningful work engagement and the onset has just begun with re-calibration of the compensation being offered to the expected work in a new light, few people, fewer pay outs and far higher deliverables- new age slavery- well you may think it that way- more son simply because- whatever remaining creative space was available has now been completely taken away and at least for the next few years work spaces will be more of “I say, so have this done” kind of environments- simply because there is nothing to stretch and flex withing the organisation. 2020 has gone to make a fundamental change to a fundamental aspect of humanity, that pertains to “how humanity works and works for what”!
The human equation: 2020 brought forth human emotions, like no year ever before had possibly been able to do! The stories of families facing stress and tribulations owing to the hyped “work from home” methodology- which just went onto add further to the corporate slavery; stories pertaining to the lack of space and genuine challenges which people faced to get that so called “sterile office” kind of feeling within the limitation of their homes or in some other cases the rapid loss of employment followed by loss of shelter- leading to fragmentation and destruction of the family in a comprehensive manner- each of these and many other instances within these extremities are a testimony to what 2020 was all about it! Perhaps no other year in the recent past would have seen such a wide range of human emotion at play- and if you thought this happened only at the individual level, think again, entire societies and nations have been a witness to human sentiments and emotions played out from the highest offices of the land like never before! At some places societies have got together more cohesively and few other places societies have been fragmented even further and more deeper, likewise are the stories of individuals and the families that they are a part of!
A portrait of resilience: 2020 will also go down as the year which was indeed a significant display and application of resilience. Patience, Perseverance and Hope all served in bountiful measures and those who lapped these up, were able to tide over the challenge a shade better than those who were neglected, left around or simply refused to believe in something and resigned themselves into nothingness!
The face of Leadership: 2020 brought the world face to face some great leadership stories, few which elucidated success and few which facilitated failure! If ever there was a masterclass on leading through crisis, I believe 2020, had it all! National leaders, subject matter experts, individuals, societies at large, pick and choose any group that you would want to analyze, chances are you too are aware of some sharp stories of success and failures in the same contextual setting that you see your life through and this whole episode just goes on to amplify the urgency and need of having meaningful leaders and meaningful leadership being practised at all levels for a society to work and stay progressive despite and Inspite of what may come towards it as a challenge!
The spirit of human ingenuity: This one aspect also has stood tall all through 2020 and perhaps this is one of the pivotal reasons why and how societies have been able to turn the tide of the challenge that humanity faced this year and more importantly this is what upholds the promise and also points to the fragility of human kind for the times ahead!
The law of uncertainty: 2020 taught the world one thing, you may plan, you may plan blind, but end of it what rules the day will be the eternal dice of “uncertainty” and what goes on to define what you become further all boils down to the singular fact about how well you have been at dealing with the uncertainty that came your way- as an Individual, a society or as nation! As long as humanity appreciates this space, it can be assured about its progress and existence, irrespective of how big or deep the challenge may seem to be! As I say, Life is all about being an “Always on test mode”
Think and Feel: 2020 also brought forth the relevance and importance of requiring to have a balance between thinking and feeling, simply because every time this space went skewed people have ended up paying with their lives, especially this year and it really didn’t matter whether these people were mute witness, part of the problem or were the problem themselves, the fact remains they paid the price for the imbalance between thinking and feeling and needless to say even though thinking and feeling is intrinsic to the human kind, a balance is vital and critical!
Shifting narratives: 2020 presented fast paced, ever shifting narratives with absolutely little or no space to decipher, apply or manage what the narrative said or meant! This ended up nudging a vast majority of humanity to the edge and people- individuals to leaders were left with no choice but to make choices on an ongoing basis, based on what the shifting narratives were, only to rejoice or repent later as the outcomes of those decisions began to get played out! In these war of the narratives, the louder and noisier emerged out as the winner, nudging out everything around irrespective whether that was right or meaningful! As people soak into these narratives, needless to say they stay entrapped to the present with no clue about the arriving future, anxiously waiting to be served by the next narrative!
Given the fact this is a blog, I leave you here with these thoughts and reflections, for you to add further and build upon these observations and possibly embrace what 2020 has really meant to you and what is that you wish to take along with you in the times ahead and what is that you would rather have left buried in this very year itself! Humanity comes across inflections points in it’s story every few centuries and 2020 was one such point that has made each one of us re-think, re-assess and re-calibrate all that we do and aspire to do and perhaps even the way we want to do it!
If you ask me, 2020’s message was loud and clear, there is a solution to every problem and every solution can be the next problem!
Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one, until then stay wise and stay connected!