Grateful To 2022 And Hopeful For 2023!

Today marks the last day of the year 2022. Overall, 2022 has been a good year, compared to its earlier counterparts – 2020 and 2021. Therefore, there’s much to be grateful for, and even more to feel hopeful for, starting tomorrow.

Gratitude for the year that was… In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity and build strong relationships.

Gratitude is an attitude we all need to cultivate to appreciate what we have, Gratitude helps us refocus on what we have, instead of what we lack. In fact, gratitude even serves a biological purpose! It is the appreciation of the valuable and meaningful things in our lives. As one of the world’s leading experts in gratitude, Robert Emmons, explains in his essay on gratitude: “It is an affirmation of goodness. We affirm that there are good things in the world, gifts and benefits we have received.

However, he also points out that there is another element to being grateful: “We recognise that the sources of this goodness are outside of ourselves. We acknowledge that other people, or even higher powers, if you are of a spiritual mindset, gave us many gifts, big and small, to help us achieve the goodness in our lives.

Thus, if Covid did not affect you, be grateful. If Covid affected you but you survived, be even more grateful! If you did not lose your job, be grateful. If you lost your job, but discovered a talent hidden while sitting at home, be even more grateful. If you could have fun sitting at home, be grateful. If you saved money sitting at home and used that money to help others, be even more grateful for that opportunity.

Hope for the year that will be… As the threat of Covid’s variant BF-7 looms above us, there are prophets of doom who have re-started quoting Nostradamus and Baba Venga. We wonder why anyone in his or her right senses would thrive on propagating fear instead of hope. There may be a fresh wave. But if we have pulled through the earlier waves, we surely can ride this one too. Stay calm. Be positive. Eat right. Above all else, think right. It’s not just enough building immunity against the virus. Build immunity against the virus of fake news, the virus of fear and the virus of negativity that often floods social media.

Do not believe astrologers. Every astrologer predicted a great year 2020 on 31st December, 2019. They predicted economic growth – what we witnessed was loss of livelihood. No astrologer even whispered ‘epidemic’, leave alone ‘pandemic’. So let the astrologers date their own destiny while we date with hope and happiness!

Ignore fake ominous predictions… Whenever a calamity, local or global, strikes, prophets of doom start invoking the sixteenth century French astrologer Nostradamus. The claims include a prophecy written out as follows: “There will be a twin year (2020) from which will arise a queen (corona) who will come from the east (China) and who will spread a plague (virus) in the darkness of night, on a country with seven hills (Italy) and will transform the twilight of men into dust (death), to destroy and ruin the world. It will be the end of the world economy as you know it.”

This claim is unfounded. Reuters (a well-known news agency) found no evidence of this prophecy being written by Nostradamus. Stephane Gerson, Professor of French, French Studies, and History at New York University, informed Reuters this text “does not come from Nostradamus’s ‘Prophecies’,” nor from other prognostications made by Nostradamus. Gerson told Reuters, “One should keep in mind that plagues were recurrent in sixteenth century Europe, during his lifetime. They were one of the travails about which he wrote (indeed, there are at least thirty-five references to plagues in his ‘Prophecies’).”

The Zoroastrian approach and attitude… No matter what or who you choose to believe or disbelieve, just remember that neither Covid-19 nor any calamity is ‘Divinity’s Wrath’ or ‘Nature’s Vengeance’. From a Zoroastrian perspective, this Virus (or any calamity) is the opposite of all that is Good, God-given, Life-giving and Health-promoting. Do not read or forward posts on social media about the pandemic being ‘Divine Anger’ on mankind and this virus being ‘Mother Nature’s Vengeance’ on human beings.

Ahura Mazda is neither an ‘Angry God’ nor a ‘Testing God’, nor a ‘Vengeful God’. Zarathustra saw Ahura Mazda as the Lord or Creator of Wisdom, Bestower of Life and a ‘Loving Beloved Friend’. Be-friend Ahura Mazda. Embrace Wisdom. Be Grateful and stay Hopeful! With a Friya (friend) like Ahura Mazda, you need fear nobody and nothing!

Choose hope with wisdom… The Pahlavi Dinkard (Book 3) asserts: “Be it known that, whatever wisdom and happiness exist now, are owing to the principles that give strength of wisdom and the power of happiness. Among these, by means of the proper power appertaining to the soul, Ohrmazd reaches into the heart of the acquirer of wisdom, and the power of obtaining the wishes, reaches into the heart of the acquirer of wisdom. And on that wisdom reaching into the mind, a path is found by the mind that is obedient to Ohrmazd and is pure, to see what relates to the invisible; and so, man becomes worthy of fresh and superior happiness.”

It is interesting to observe that acquisition of wisdom goes hand in hand with happiness. One who is wise is also happy. Divinity enters the heart of the acquirer of wisdom and makes that individual experience “fresh and superior happiness.”

To conclude, every new beginning comes from some ending. In 2020, we were challenged but in 2021 we found some solutions. During 2022, we found hope and some respite. Let us be grateful for the year that was and positive about the year to set in tomorrow.

In the words of Robert Frost, “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on” or in the words of Jay Livingston and Ray Evans: “Qué será, será. Whatever will be, will be. The future’s not ours to see. Qué será, será. What will be, will be.”

Wishing all a Happy and Healthy year 2023!

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