In just a few days, we will bid farewell to 2021, a year which carried hope but also anxiety for most of us. Accelerated vaccination rates showed prospects of turning the Covid-19 virus endemic even as new strains appear, and yet many people faced anguish and angst as loved ones fell sick or succumbed to the virus and struggled with livelihoods being compromised. As we welcome a new calendar year, most of us can’t help but continue to hope for a more positive wind of change.
To realise this hope for betterment, we must remind ourselves that these vicissitudes of life are inevitable; it is our own thoughts, actions and speech which determine how well we survive and thrive. The Buddha taught that loss and gain, disrepute and fame, praise and blame, pleasure and pain are transient in human life, inconstant and bound to change. To persevere, we should be observant of their alterations, be aware that they will come and go, and have the mindfulness to not be attached to them.
It is also entirely within our power to BE the positive change in any situation by consciously embodying the virtues of loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity. These qualities will bring harmony and goodwill to those around us, while enabling us to develop deep feelings of happiness, contentment and peace. Friends, let us take time to reflect on how we can step up to be the driver of beneficial change so that we do not just count each day that passes, but to make each day count.