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Stepping stones

 Editorial |  2018-01-01 14:24:37.0

Stepping stones

A new year is rarely a new beginning. Time is largely a man-made construct; nature ushers in the change of which we have deduced a nomenclature that would substantiate the regulated termination. Ultimately, it is another dawn, a continuation of what we were yesterday, still undeterred in our goal for what we have perceived of tomorrow. Yet, cynicism aside, as we have created time, we must parallelly also celebrate the breaks in time. Not simply as a means to engage in bashful celebration but more importantly as a departure from yesterday to objectively introspect on the time that has gone by and its lingering impact upon the tomorrow that is about to commence. Driven in our goal to accomplish every day, introspection is lost in a haze of fast-paced steps leading us to our swerving destination. 2017, most would say, has been far less remarkable than expectations that surround new beginnings. From Bollywood serving us largely unmemorable films this year to the rampancy of refugee crisis that has swarmed our continent, this time around, most prayed for the end of 2017. After all, it began with the reign of Donald Trump, how far could there have been glee? It has been a year of massacres, killing, a surge of terrorism, global warming presenting a new face, leaders living in denial of its fate, nuclear threats being quickly exchanged and collective harmony almost receiving a bittersweet negligence. Undoubtedly, there have been stories of bravery and well-being, yet, they have remained largely submerged in comparison to the spirit of rebellion that has been witnessed across the world. Stephen Paddock's horrific killing account that witnessed the death of 58 concertgoers along with the injury of 546 others, who were enjoying a night of carefree frolic at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas, will haunt the memories of contemporary Americans for a long time to come. Events such as this, highlight in the most catastrophic way, the looming concerns that are haunting our society today—both at the level of the individual and at the level of governance. America's gun laws are completely haywire, and an event such as Paddock's ruthless killing had to come to the forefront to highlight the evident lapse in societal living today. With this incident, we also received a crucial glance into the concerning issues of mental health illness that are today plaguing our generation. Depression—considered to be the most contagious disease today, affects well over half of the population across urban areas. With different consequences, this evil manifests itself in horrific colours, often leading to individual annihilation or collective catastrophe. Tapping upon this crisis that is crippling our generation, we also saw the horrors of social media enter our homes, capitalising upon disarrayed emotions. The Blue Whale Challenge presented an entire new threat, endemic to this generation, specific to children who are naïve, yet prolific on social media. Capitalising on this disbalance, this application led to the suspected suicide of five young teenagers in our country. The discourse on mental health concerns has probably gained the most currency today, as it should, yet it remains absent in everyday conversation. The murder of young Pradhyumn in an elite school of Gurugram was yet another manifestation of this prevailing evil that is creepily lingering in the corners of each of our homes. A seven-year-old is killed by a seventeen-year-old, just to delay examinations—the naivety and complementing brutality has spiralled the entire society into thinking on how to perceive such unprecedented chaos in society today. The alleged perpetrator was suffering from anger management issues and subsequent isolation which had garnered in his mind a propensity for engaging in harmful activities. While we blame others and point raging fingers, an important deliberation remains amiss. The introspection upon the journey of our society—from children remaining restricted to their toys, to children wearing the mask of harmful predators. We have come a long, harsh way. The adult world has unfortunately always been contaminated—getting worse by the minute. It is when we retrospect upon the world of children that we realise how unfortunate the situation indeed is today. The one aspect of guaranteed sanctity has been lost. The other aspect, religion, has long succumbed to the hands of radicals who are undeterred in furthering their agenda of bloodshed. While science and technology has seen breakthroughs, there has been little worth reminiscing about the mundane in our life today. Optimism is the fuel for existence and the only thread that will propel us through. A new year is just another day, yet it is never too late a day for introspection and motivated correction.


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