2020 has been a year of shattered dreams: hotels closing, restaurants empty, businesses down, workers losing jobs, students missing school, travels and gatherings restricted, etc. Covid-19 has disrupted our lives severely. The social and emotional challenges have taken a toll on our psyche. Dare we dream again? Yes, we must dream on and have hope in order to survive this pandemic.
One thing I learned in these difficult times is to value the things that really matter, minute they might be. As we head into the New Year, I would like to share my hopes and wishes for 2021 and beyond.
Starting with the physical, I want to walk every day to keep myself fit. I have been sitting too much and for too long. It is time to get up and exercise those muscles and stimulate blood circulation. I intend to walk an hour a day around in my house. Outside the house, there might be hurdles and movement control restrictions. Inside, I can walk whether it rains or shines. My housemates might think me silly, but I shall persevere.
Financial security is my urgent objective. I have been struggling to make ends meet. So I aim to recruit more students for my English language class. My goal is to earn another RM500 per month, pay off all my personal debts and gain financial freedom. For the last several months, I have been wanting to install a shower heater, but my finances did not allow for it. On a cold day, I would be shivering while showering. A warm shower would be my dream for the home.
Every year, I aspire to learn something new. This coming year, I want to learn how to use a touch screen phone. With a smartphone, I can WhatsApp. Many of my friends are on WhatsApp, and it would be easier to keep in touch. It would also expand the opportunity to connect with new students for my class. As I have been suffering from tremors, I was reluctant to use a smartphone because of its touch screen feature. Hopefully, it will be less challenging than I fear.
Friends keep us mentally and physically strong. As Proverbs 17:17 reads: “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” My friends are my family. They supported me in hard times. They rejoiced with me in good times. I hope and pray that they will be safe and well throughout the year.
The other day, I read a news report about thousands of people eating clay to stave off hunger in southern Madagascar. The region has been hit by a severe famine due to prolonged drought. In one village, eight children and a mother died of starvation. Thinking of this tragic news made me realize how blessed I am. I have a place to stay, food to eat, easy access to clean water, friends who care, and countless other blessings. Therefore, I want to spend some time cultivating a sense of gratitude and appreciation as part of my spiritual growth.
In community service, I am actively involved in an association serving the blind. The general economic decline in recent years has also affected us adversely. Our work has been hampered by dwindling funds and a lack of community support. The pandemic has further impeded our activities. My dream is to see the association return stronger and able to sustain its services to the blind.
For our community, I wish, most of all, for efficient and rapid deployment of effective Covid-19 vaccines. I hope the vaccination would be made available to all citizens as well as foreigners in our midst so that we can contain the infection. With that in mind, I look forward to a community returning to normal life: Businesses resume operations, breadwinners are back to work, schools and places of worship are open, people are out eating or jogging, and we can shake hands and see each other smile. My earnest desire is that the setbacks and suffering we endured would make us more considerate and caring.
As for my beloved country, Malaysia, I hope for a stable government that could focus on fighting the Covid-19. I pray for a swift and full recovery from the onslaught of the pandemic, steady economic growth with expanding job opportunities, and a just and equitable society for all Malaysians. I dream of a time when we shall discover the soul of our nation, not defined by race or religion, but by the values we hold and the vision we share.
”It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Eliot
I wish you all the best for 2021.
Happy New Year!
Hopes and Dreams Contest Winner