Out of work migrant labourers along with their families make the long trek home after coronavirus pandemic forced authorities to order a lockdown
The word in itself is enough to scare the hell out of people these days. The world seems to have come to a standstill. Indeed, everything is locked down. People are feeling like prisoners in their homes, over-watching TV, over-doing internet and over-speculating on various theories being circulated on social media about the spread of the COVID-19 virus including the alleged conspiracies of the Americans blaming the Chinese and vice-versa, with regards to the yet unverified claims of launching a biological war on the world.
There are tens of thousands of videos being received daily on Watsapp about how to protect oneself from the deadly tentacles of the virus. The message is clear- Either we all swim together or we sink together. The advice is the same for everyone- ‘Quarantine’: self-isolation.
So, many of us are wondering as to what can be possibly done under these lockdown conditions where you cannot, in fact, should not step out of the four walls of your homes. Even if you are a highly self-motivated and determined person, still there can be occasions when you feel deeply frustrated, extremely bored, acutely anxious and pessimistic at the current situation.
Well, it is a tragic situation of grave magnitude that is naturally beyond our individual control. The best we can do is to follow the government’s and WHO’s advice and bid our time with patience and collective unity in the hope of emerging victorious in the end in this unusual war against a unique virus.
Here are a few lessons of hope, positivity and optimism which can be helpful to calm down our nerves and increase the mental endurance in these unimaginable times.
A great writer had once said that there is no rainbow without the rain. And it is only after the rain that sunshine occurs. So, we need to convince our minds that howsoever bad may be the situation today; it is a sure thing that this environment of gloominess is not going to continue till eternity. In fact, the truth is that neither good times nor bad times last forever. The ‘Sun of hope’ will shine for sure.
Secondly, this period can be better utilized to focus our energies and efforts on nurturing our families and recreating the bonds of love and belongingness in homes. May be this time can be better used by taking care of your old parents or attending to the demands of your partners or children, who have always accused you of not spending enough time with them.
Rather than treating it as a punishment to sit at homes for weeks, let this be perceived as a wonderful opportunity to do something productive inside homes and may be, learn some new musical instrument like guitar, piano etc which was always there at the back of your mind but let’s say you could never devote adequate time or attention in the hustle-bustle of life.
Rather than wasting the precious time on browsing senseless and irrelevant videos on internet and receiving and forwarding messages on Watsapp, this time and energy can be more effectively utilized to read some good books, indulge in yoga and meditation, improve your cooking skills and perhaps, do some beneficial physical exercises which will help you shed those extra kilos away from your waist and bulging tummies.
Thirdly, the third positive outcome is for Mother Earth. After causing decades of pollution and non-stop exploitation of the natural resources, the COVID-19 has brought an unexpected opportunity for all of us to recognise the harsh damage which we have collectively done to this planet and our posterity. With this lockdown across the globe, everyone has started feeling that the climate has improved and the air seems fresh in their vicinities.
In fact, the pollution levels have decreased in major cities of the world. But it sends chilled shivers down my spine to foresee that once the lockdown gets over, the Earth will again bear the brunt of the man’s exploitative and selfish agendas. So, this can be a good time to take a universal pledge now of keeping the environment clean as we are witnessing the benefits of doing so. In fact, it would not be a preposterous idea to observe such kinds of lockdown, let’s say, for a week, every year across the world to protect the Mother Earth.
Fourthly, this can be considered an appropriate time to sit and indulge in some deep thoughts about life and its purpose with a cup of tea in one hand and book in the other. It would not be wrong to accuse that we all pretend to be so busy in our lives that we simply forget that there is ‘LIFE’ beyond money, statuses, power, worldly pleasures, privileges, accolades and achievements.
Very few people are actually living their lives in the real sense; a majority of us tend to merely exist and squander away our years in a mundane, mechanized manner all through our lifespan. Therefore, it is a good time to utilize this pause in your life, reflect upon the goals you have set for yourself, recalibrate the strategies and if possible, discover the actual purpose of your existence.
Rather than feeling sad about not owning a Porsche or a luxury flat, let us try to find the real happiness in acts of small joys like caressing a flower in your garden, playing with the pets at home, and feeding the poor, hungry people in this time of crisis.
Finally, it is time to understand that we are all tiny particles in this entire universe. The end is death only. It is a reality. We cannot escape it. Therefore, rather than acting selfishly and amassing huge wealth and resources, we need to realize that our existence is ephemeral. We need to stop indulging in hate politics, wars of destruction, and inflated egos in human relations. The lockdown will be over one day. But let’s not waste this time in negativity.
Instead, let’s use this opportunity to develop an optimistic attitude and think positively. It is never the problem in itself but our attitude which make it a problem. As Alphonse Karr has remarked, “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.” We can definitely learn good lessons from anything in life, provided we are willing to learn, even if it is about a deadly virus running amok everywhere.
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