What’s in store for us?

Seema Kumar

As we begin 2020 and a brand new decade, I am reflecting on the future of our families, communities, the world, and the planet. What’s in store for us? I hope and wish us all a healthy, happy, peaceful, prosperous, and green future. But turning these wishes into reality requires action. So what actions, big and small, will we take this year and this decade?

I reflected on this question as I made my New Year’s resolutions for 2020 and beyond. And I chose three this year, some old and some new, but all focused on sustainability and going beyond limits.

First and foremost is good health, which makes everything else possible. Working out and eating better are among the top most popular resolutions people make, and they top my list as well. My resolution is to continue to eat healthy and work out daily (which I do without fail …for the most part). I’ve discovered that small, daily changes on a consistent basis work best. One tweak I made many years ago is to cut refined carbs from my diet and replace them with healthier carbs and more protein. This is hard to do with carb-loaded Indian food, and especially so when you are a vegetarian. Over the years, through trial and error I’ve created a collection of recipes that have worked for me. So another part of this resolution is to compile those recipes and share them with the world. More on that later, but for now, be sure to read Chase Maser’s article (LINK) on how to make your Indian food favorites more healthy.

Second is to be more fiscally responsible. Many of us are blessed with the comfort and security that gainful employment brings. However, regardless of which income bracket we fall into, being responsible with the money we earn and spend is key to securing our own future and that of our local and global communities. Whether it is budgeting to live within your means, paying bills on time, managing your small business, or investing in retirement savings and planned giving, financial literacy is important. Women play critical roles in managing the family money and tend to be the unofficial chief financial officers of their families and communities. Ensuring we continue to become more financially savvy is key. My resolution is to control my spending habits—do away with excesses—and do more planned giving to support the world. On a more fun note, I discovered over the holidays that I have many boxes of unused skin care and make up, and one of my mini-resolutions is to use them all up and to resist going on a shopping spree for the newest box of Urban Decay eyeshadow or my 10th tube of MAC RubyWoo! Let’s see how long I can survive without going to SEPHORA! I’m hoping to capture my journey on social. Let’s see how I do.

Third is to secure the future for the next generation. Wanting our children to be better off than us is a natural human tendency, but in today’s environment, this takes on a whole new meaning. Our children live today in a world we could hardly fathom as youngsters, and our grandchildren’s world will have many aspects beyond our imagination. As I think about this, I make a two-part resolution: Do my part to achieving gender parity, which is number 6 of the U.N Sustainable Development Goals, as well as for the environment. Yes, Greta Thunberg’s impassioned plea at the U.N. General Assembly woke me up, just like she did many others. When I see the next generation of boys and girls, especially children of the Indus diaspora, I feel proud and I worry. I am proud of how they are building on the successes of their immigrant parents and learning to live with the duality of two worlds and cultures. I am proud of their focus on achievement and excellence, and how well they are doing in creating impact. But I worry about how these children cope with this duality and its impact on their identities, psyches, and aspirations. I worry about the girls, who may feel under pressure to excel to please their parents, potential husbands and in-laws, and about the boys who will be key partners in effecting change to the overall gender balance of the South Asian ecosystem. Today’s youth live in an environment surrounded by technology, climate change, and political and societal upheaval, adding anxiety above and beyond normal teenage angst. I want to ensure a healthy, happy, prosperous, and green world for them because they are the future. So, as a personal resolution and as a resolution for SEEMA, our platform will make them a key focus going beyond the limits of our overall efforts to empower and connect South Asian women diaspora globally. We want to reach these youth, address their particular needs, and offer them visibility and voice on our platform. We will do this as we scale up and move to a more streamlined platform this year. We hope these enhancements improve your SEEMA experience, and, as always give us feedback!

Happy New Year!