Take a pause; to keep moving -Nazneen Ali
Take a pause; to keep moving -Nazneen Ali
“A city that never sleeps”; this or similar captions have until recently become the promotional theme of the tourism industry of various cities around the world. Not only from tourism perspective but from the perspective of service industry as well; from a small food vendor to a car wash centre; to an elevator maintenance company; to a more sophisticated and vital sector, say information technology or banking, everyone stood bizarre; creating a place for themselves showcasing “We serve you 24/7”. Mobility became a sign of being alive.
Our lives became so complex, as an individual, as a community, as a Nation and as the World. We started taking pride in the technological advancement that made the world a global market and were looking forward to a boundary-less world. It is all sounding so positive, but, unfortunately it is the half-truth. Let us roll back to the previous few lines again and know the full truth.
In an endeavour to become active 24/7, we have exploited ourselves physically, emotionally, psychologically and socially. There is a rat race around the world with no end to reach. As an individual, our core focus is our own well-being, our job, our earning and our own comfort. Our mission is worldly happiness rather than inner happiness of our soul - happiness which we find in spending quality time with our family, the happiness we find in grooming our hidden skills or talents and most importantly, the happiness that we find in our association with the almighty – The creator of this Universe.
In the recent years, we, as a global community, have evolved as self-centric, intolerant, arrogant and indifferent towards our fellow humans. The previous year at a glance or the year-end review articles, all highlighted the hatred spreading around the world with no mention of incidences exhibiting love, tranquillity and humanity. All what we heard and read was about Nuclear talks among superpowers, Brexit policies, trade war between the industrial giants, countries targeting each other’s drone, acres of forests burning, a major secular nation affiliating towards religious nationalism, etc.
This is the complete truth. A complete pictures that urges us to think where we are heading towards? We would have continued the same way, but the Covid-19 attack on the world has triggered a concern – A concern for the humanity……….
A lot is being written about the virus, about its origination, the possible conspiracies, etc. I am neither an economist, nor a Nationalist or a Political analyst but a Humanitarian, so I would not discuss the economic implications of this Pandemic, neither will I go deep in analysing the oil prices sinking to all time low, nor will I mourn on the tumbling stock prices. My focus is what we learn from the current situation as a Human being….
Covid-19 originated in one city and in a matter of months it spread across nations in a manner that almost the entire world is engulfed by its impact to a more or less extent. This virus did not respect any National boundaries, caste, colour or creed. The rich and the poor, the Diplomats and the common man, all are equally exposed to it and affected by it. Each person on this earth, howsoever influential and powerful he might be, understood that in the eyes of the nature, we all are equal. This virus is surely a disaster but has provided us a newer angle towards life. It has made us realize how mortal we are; despite all the progressions that we might claim, we are helpless in front of the nature. It has forced us to take a pause. A pause that has become a necessity if we need to move on.
This pause, that might be defined as a lockdown or a curfew is not just an enforcement by law to restrict our movement publicly or to maintain a social distancing; this is a pause from the rat race of the world. This pause is a “Me Time” for each one of us for self-actualization, for the refinement of our soul, a time to redefine our priorities, a time to learn to be a better human being.
Before the situation became so grave, we all had some plans to be executed. However within days all are plans had to be aborted due to the prevailing uncertainty. Initially it made us anxious but with the passing days we have learnt to be more patient in accepting the reality. We have stopped grumbling on the failure of our plans and have rather submitted ourselves to fate. We have become more religious and stronger in our faith and at the same time become more secular as well. Now prayers not addressed as we pray for the health of our community, rather all prayers are focused on the health and safety of all of us as humans. Now we do not hear people discussing their religious differences rather they are seen complementing each other’s prayers for safety from this deadly virus; this is a win of humanity.
The restrictions on movement and transportation has created a concern on the availability of the resources including necessity items like grocery. This shortage has made us realize the importance of using resources judiciously. We have become grateful to god for the abundant resources he provided us and are now becoming wiser in using them. The scarcity has also made us empathetic towards our fellow humans and in this distressful time we hear stories from around the world where government, corporate houses, charitable organizations and individuals, all are coming forward and providing all possible aids and donations to help nations combat the effect of this virus.
The current situation has made us more responsible and appreciative also. People are responsibly staying indoors and appreciating the efforts of the police and security forces who are ensuring that we stay indoor for our own safety. We have seen occasions where people are showing positive gestures towards all the health and medical practitioners for their dedication in fighting this Contagion. This pause has awaken our hearts, enlightened our soul and made us realize that there is nothing more precious than our lives. Work, technology, economy, politics, everything loses its importance if health is at risk. This pause has taught us to be a bit slow and live each day at a time to its best. We hope to overcome this disaster soon and pray that the scars of this period soon fades away from our lives and what remains with us is the goodness and humanity that we have learnt during this period. ( -AT)