With all the greetings of “happy new year” floating around, I began to ponder if we really ought to aspire for a happy 2018 or something else; something that’s more profound. My hopes with 2018 turn out to be more complex than merely suggesting unanimous happiness.
Without sounding alarmingly pessimistic, I did find the trends of 2017 take a regressive slump: bigotry and intolerance fueled by ignorance and misinformation seem to have gotten further rampant or at least more visible. Don’t just think of the apparent western deterioration with Trumps and Brexits; it has been a global trend. India, for instance, is fiddling with toxic Hindu nationalism and is unlike the India I have known growing up. The prime numbered year that has past by, unfortunately, accentuated this deterioration and might take the blame for being a fulcrum point in steering the course of history.
Carrying this burdenous feeling into 2018, I am inclined to believe that while a happy 2018 would be welcome, we cannot overlook the means to achieve the utopian goal of ubiquitous happiness.
I sincerely wish we can have a rational and intellectually stimulating 2018 that can also end up being happy. For, happiness is highly subjective, whereas factual consistency is not. By wishing unanimous happiness, we are already ignoring the challenges that lay ahead as we enter into another calendar year of struggles. In any case, happiness is overrated. It will follow when there’s understanding and peace.
Let’s hope for a year that will improve understanding: amongst people and of the world, and peace: within ourselves and in the world.