An unprecedented scenario calls for an approach hitherto unchartered. Humanity is face to face with a mighty challenge which has made all else before it appear puny. Even though we had to wade through the very muddy waters of world wars and global plagues in recent centuries, we have never quite come up against a foe as lethal as this one.
Yet, by and by, we will emerge from this health scare crisis. However, it will be foolhardy for mankind to go back to being its uncaring old self. Once lockdowns are over, and once the masks are off, we will again be able to smile freely and walk around without inhibition. But will we be the same self-centred individuals that we have mostly been? Will nations and societies too function with the same blatancy and bravado or will they finally take a reality check?
It is probably time to upgrade humanity itself, just as modern day geeks are habituated to upgrading their hardware devices and the accompanying software which come in versions aplenty. Those are optional upgrades, usually depending on one’s wealth or lack of it. But human beings surely need an overhauling in the twenty first century, the sort of which was never required, till today.
The sheer pace at which the “Haves” have been surging and splurging in recent decades, has left the planet gasping for breath. Never in history have countries conspired to destroy the natural reservoirs of the Earth with as much recklessness as they have been doing of late. Mindless industrialisation and development will only make life on earth untenable for future generations of people as well as animals and plants. Ironically, with the world currently locked down, city denizens are breathing air purer than ever. Pollution related ailments usually claim thousands more lives than even this virus can, and those numbers have already dwindled drastically. Thus, the foremost improvement in our global conduct would have to be to learn to respect Mother Nature and act in consonance with its manifestations. Every worm and insect on this planet has as much a right to live as we do.
Secondly, healthcare and education have not been receiving the prioritisation that they need from governments. Had we been spending more funds on establishing adequate facilities for healthcare, as a global society, and encouraging more young people to join the medical profession, the gross shortage of qualified doctors and nurses, et al, would not have been felt as acutely as is the case with the current war against the big virus.
Thirdly, we will have to upgrade the levels of our behaviour with others. The economic might of a few large nations is resulting in tyranny towards the tiny ones. Similarly, wealthy individuals are forever encroaching upon the happiness-index of those to whom life has already been unkind. The rich-poor divide has never been as palpable as it is in current times. The newest global challenge has rendered the common man and millions of his ilk, utterly jobless and penniless. Empathy and caring for others simply have to be a part of the global and personal ethos.
Fourthly, our relationships with those who really matter are often on a sticky wicket. We have not had the time or even the inclination to spend long hours with the family, until the lockdown came! If they do not have the right to our time and mind-space, then no one else should, either. We must continue to focus on personal relationships and prioritise them in our scheme of things, once the world reboots.
Fifthly, while the search for success and happiness drives all human beings, our methods have always been misdirected. No amount of materialistic achievement or acquisition can ever truly satiate our inner beings. Going within and searching for inner peace, through contemplation and meditation, are vital pursuits- a fact that humanity has taken too long to fathom. Amazingly, even Queen Elizabeth spoke of prayer and meditation as the real salve which the world needs at this time.
It is time for people and peoples to reorient, refashion, reinstall and reboot their lives. This truth has been laid bare, as never before!
Source: Hindustan Times