The importance of Resilience and Resolve

Navneet Munot has been diligently naming the “Person of the Year”. Here are his musings over the past 8 years.

Charles Dickens’s immortal lines echo while rewinding 2020: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness… the spring of hope, the winter of Despair…”

2020 turned out to be a turbulent test match, a tale of two takes: Conversations began with “you are on mute” and ended with “This too shall pass”. In between, it was all about “this time is different”.

Counting infections and deaths made every morning a mourning time. The year we were near our dear ones. The year we lost some near and dear ones. Fresh air took a flight, as human beings were grounded. Birds were seen reoccupying their place while migrant workers lost their occupation. Spanish guitars and books on Spanish influenza got dusted off.

Knowledge work found a home. Lockdown unlocked our century-old model of offices resembling factory shop floors. Move over conference rooms, meetings are on Zoom. Blue jeans and light shorts replaced long ties and dark suits. Schooling became just homework and shopping was on virtual windows. Wait, isn’t something amiss? Yes, virtual has virtues but there is something magical about physical!

Amidst a stringent lockdown and record recession in India, a billion souls wore PPE: Patience, Perseverance and Empathy.

Isaac Newton, one of the greatest scientists, invented calculus in 1665. The great plague in London led him to be ‘quarantined’ in his small Hamlet then. Supposedly the Annus horribilis (a horrible year) also turned out to be the Annus Mirabilis, the year of wonder.

2020 could have been Annus Horribilis. The biggest ever global health crisis leading to the worst economic recession and social upheaval, geopolitical crisis with two largest powers at loggerheads and climate calamities like never before. Sean Connery once said that there is nothing like a challenge to bring out the best in man.

While challenges looked dark and deep, humanity displayed its best. Nurses and doctors serving 48-hour shifts for months on the trot, frontline workers bravely holding the front, nameless citizens feeding the needy, researchers innovating to come up with vaccines in record time – the list goes on. Our resolve wasn’t in lockdown. Challenges still abound, but our resilience shows no bound.

‘Resilience and resolve of humankind’ is my person of the year.

A future Charles Dickens would write the tale of 2020: It was a year of thunder, it was a year of wonder.

Navneet Munot has been documenting his “person of the year” for a while. You can read it all in detail at the links mentioned below.

2020: Resilience and resolve of humankind.

2019: Capitalism with Conscience. Business as usual will no longer be usual.

2018: Thai Cave Rescuers. They emanate hope that the most convoluted challenges facing us can also be solved by the power of human cooperation.

2017: Elon Musk. The sheer ingenuity to change the world (and beyond).

2016: Hyper-United, Hyper-Divided World.

2015: DIET - Distributed, Intelligent, Empowering Technology.

2014: The awakened young Indian.

2013: Love in Tokyo.

Source: Morningstar India Website