Our world is currently being rocked by unbelievably unsettling times. It is like being on a ship in the middle of an ocean that has suddenly been hit by a massive storm, or sitting in an aircraft that has run into an extremely rough weather.
Undoubtedly and logically, perhaps due to our unpreparedness, it must be an extremely humbling experience for each one of us, extremely frustrating too for most of us due to our helplessness. For example, Australian government will not allow us to travel out of Australia and Indian government will not allow us to enter India, both borders are closed. One by one, countries are closing their borders. So, how do we visit our families? Our helplessness can be likened to the helplessness of a caged bird that has suddenly lost freedom and the ability to fly at will, as if its wings have been clipped for reasons beyond its control.
The world seems to have turned on its head. Is it a nightmare? No, not really; it is real!
Covid-19 is impartial, it does not discriminate. It does not care who you are – rich or poor, powerful or weak, man or woman, black or white, pretty or ordinary. Like all other elements of Nature, it does not see your religion, caste or nationality.
Wealth and power have suddenly become practically redundant, perhaps for a change as a strong reminder from Nature that it reigns supreme. Perhaps, the human ego had outgrown his relevance on the earth and grown too big for his head. Nature has finally slapped us humans, loud and heavy. The human ego has been hammered. Many a lion mew like cats now. Hopefully, with this humbling experience, the human cockiness – at least of the powerful and the wealthy – may become a thing of the past. If an arrogant individual continues to remain cocky despite knowing what has befallen the humanity, such an individual must either be a robot or a supreme being with skin as thick as the tyre of a mining dump truck, without mind.
It is commonly said: Every cloud has a silver lining. However, practically, not every cloud is seen to have a silver lining. Such a thing may happen only when a certain set of environmental conditions are met, especially with the sun and the cloud aligned with the line of sight.
- Hope Covid -19 has a silver lining.
- Hope we avail the present time as an opportunity to find and befriend ourselves.
- Hope most of us humans survive it and come out wise.
- Hope it unifies the world.
- Hope the survivors understand and recognize the oneness of the human race and the importance of human unity and peaceful coherence.
- Hope humans understand and recognise there is just One God – One Omnipotent, Omniscient Nature, with various shades and temperaments – that witnesses all and treats all without bias or discrimination. As a result, hope it brings about much needed religious harmony.
- Hope it changes our perspective towards life and reminds us about uncertainties in life and the transitory nature of life itself.
- Hope it teaches us to live in the moment and not keep taking life and the comforts and bounties of life for granted.
- Hope it forces the world leaders with big egos to speak to one another and work coherently for saving the human race.
- Hope we learn the importance of hygiene in our daily lives.
- Hope we get rid of our personal bad habits of touching our face – including nail biting, digging out snot from our nostrils and touching our eyes.
Well, all these are only hopes. What is going to happen, no one knows. Human nature is very complex; it invents conditions and situations that potentially bring misery and suffering.
The world won’t be the same for those who survive this storm. People’s psychology and behaviours won’t be the same. Economies won’t be the same. Human priorities won’t be the same. Covid is shaking everything as we speak – our lifestyle, behaviours, social life, economy, jobs, travel, shopping, personal habits and what not! Things taken earlier for granted have suddenly become extremely important, proves every dog has indeed a day. Toilet rolls have become a luxury, people fight for them now, some even cry. The world will never be the same.
While we need to do everything possible to stop Covid -19 from spreading, we must stay as calm as possible and keep ourselves healthy and entertained at home. Panic will worsen the situation, as our judgement and social behaviour will be impaired, exacerbating the situation. Covid is not a ball. Let us not try to catch it and/or pass it on to others. We must keep ourselves away from it.
If Covid does not make us socially responsible and caring humans, what will? If it does not make us humble and peace-loving humans, what will?
Covid-19 has proven what the Saibaba of Shirdi had said, “Subka Malik Ek”, which means “We all have one and the same Maker”. He also urged people to keep “Shradha and Saburi”, which mean ‘faith and patience’ come what may. His advice is quite apt and valid for the current, dark times. We must bide the present time with patience, keeping faith in whoever we believe in, socialise responsibly, look after our personal hygiene as well as the upkeep of our mental and spiritual health.
Whilst remaining indoors, within the safety of our homes, we can enjoy ourselves by listening to good music and singing along as much as possible. We can also read books and play indoor games. Yoga and meditation will be highly beneficial. We must desist from watching toxic television programmes – that feed on sensationalizing events by scaring and exploiting people’s psychology only to raise their TRP rating – if we are to justify our relevance and existence on earth. In short, we must use our time judiciously and fruitfully.
We are fortunate to have inherited a vast treasure of beautiful songs, with inspiring, uplifting music, which can prove highly beneficial for our health and help to see us through the present depressing times. We must keep ourselves engaged with positive thoughts and creative work. Undoubtedly, the present times present us all with an excellent opportunity to find and befriend ourselves, which can be considered as the silver lining of this dark ominous cloud hovering over our heads.
Patience, prudence, pragmatism and prayers – the 4Ps – are the need of the hour. Unbelievably interesting times are upon us, delivering a previously unimaginable, incomprehensible and indecipherable message from Nature. For how long will this nightmare last, no one knows? Hope the nightmare ends soon.
In any case, after Covid-19 departs, the world will never be the same. In the meantime, let us do everything possible to help ourselves and people around us to survive. Let us also take this opportunity to find ourselves; some of us may have got lost in the dazzle of materialism before the Covid arrived. Can Covid be, therefore, considered as a timely message from Govind or Gobind?
… Bill Koul (19 March 2020)