Deciding between gratitude and guilt – 2021 recap

Right from childhood, we are taught to be grateful for all the good things in life. We are taught to count our blessings. However, there are also situations when we lose belief in the goodness of life and start blaming ourselves for the misfortune of others.

Just ask yourself these questions:

Are you becoming obsessed with the uncertainty of life? Does enjoying life bring along with it a sense of guilt? Are you having a pang of grief that you could have prevented the outcome of a damaging event? This guilt can also be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic also which has made several people suffer. Yes, we witness people yielding to the pandemic. Though there are several illnesses, the COVID-19 has become a global threat.

Empathy becomes the new norm

Though the pandemic is a harsh reality, we have started practicing empathy more than ever. Life was even before a roller-coaster ride, but with the onset of the pandemic, we realized the need to understand each other’s situation very well. This is a heartening thing. But there is also a possibility that we feel so beaten by the pandemic’s gloom that we start questioning the goodness of life. At one side, we think of the blessings; another side we think of the battles we have lost.

It’s not only about the pandemic; the pandemic just made us to understand that life can be uncertain sometimes. We might have been immersed in blissful happiness, ignorant of the cruelties of the world; just a single pandemic has totally shaken the world. Again, while we can complain of the devastations caused by the pandemic and immerse ourselves into survivor’s guilt, we can also be grateful for all the good things in life. But you will definitely question: how can we practice gratitude when several people die due to corona virus or any other disease? Is this a welcoming shift?

But that’s where the paradox of life lies.

When you are a truly kind person and don’t want anyone to suffer but still something goes out of your control (for example people dying due to natural disasters, plane crash, suicide), what can you do utmost? You can definitely continue doing good without losing hope on the goodness of life. And this is where one the true essence of this quote by Leo Tolstoy lies:

“Just as one candle lights another and can light thousands of other candles, so one heart illuminates another heart and can illuminate thousands of other hearts.”

Keep doing good things; don’t be disheartened by the harsh reality of life. Everything will change for the better.


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