MOVE ON BEFORE YOUR GET TOO COSY

As we entered 2020, I wondered what my first post in the new decade would be about. As people took stock of the year that had gone by, their Facebook walls began reflecting their accomplishments and of course the mandatory resolutions. Somehow, I’ve stopped making resolutions since the past two years and I find it liberating. Not that there was a sword on my head but years of convent education and moral science classes have made my conscience extremely vocal. Since I can’t shut that down, this is a convenient arrangement.

Anyway, as I went through everyone’s list of accomplishments, I thought of my own. 2019 made me a published author and set me on a different path where I was a student again. I would have continued to gloat in my glory but like always, I heard my mother’s voice reminding me of a word she would often use- complacence.

That broke my reverie and I smiled at the memory of how that word got added to my lexicon. As a child, every time I scored well, and I mean really, really well, she would smile, pat my back and mumble the right words. No whoops of delight, no OTT display of emotion, nothing of the sort. When I would often ask her why not, she’d say, so that I don’t become complacent.

How I hated that word as a kid. I would argue with her but she’d have the last word when she’d say, you’ll get it when you grow up. Grew up I did and would often ponder on the word. Over the years, I realised that complacence was in fact a millstone that we happily, unwittingly tie around our neck. The moment we choose to sit pretty on our laurels, we begin to stagnate. Complacence robs us of the opportunity to better ourselves.

It is completely understandable that we may want to remind ourselves of how far we have come but as much as we may need to look back at our achievements, we can’t afford to lull ourselves into believing that we have arrived. We are effectively writing our obituary if we do that.

As Helen Keller said- He who is content with what has been done is an obstacle in the path of progress.

So yes, rest if you must, bask in your achievements if you have to but don’t stay there for too long. Move on before you get too cosy.

And always remember, like it or not, Ma is usually right. Now only if I can get my daughter to agree on that dictum too.

Meanwhile, all of you have a rocking 2020.

Dr. Shivani Salil

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