We have seen, heard and thought a lot about Covid-19 crisis. It’s cause, mortality, related health issues and after effects, all of these will haunt us for a lifetime. It’s going to change many things out there, one of which is “our perception of world, our inter-dependence and survival skills”. We are realizing a “new normal”, where staying close to family is back in trend and where real life issues like health facility, community hygiene, food security for all and assurance of livelihood are more important than issues of faith, religion, cultural diversity and politics. I am not being political but this is the present situation. Economists believe that Covid-19 may slow down the economy for the next 5 years and curve of GDP will be flattened. Sociologists predict a change in human behaviour having implications in future like reduction in the trend of people living home for jobs, in sending children to far places for studying or grooming, in the way people will invest money and store more and MORE for such crisis period and so on. All of them may have their own analysis and perception. They also might have valid reasons behind these hypotheses. Statisticians and Health experts say that most of us will be affected till we achieve herd immunity and only (ONLY) 3% lives will be compromised. At community level 3% may look small but it is a dear one for someone, it is a relation, might be a sole earring member of a family or a homemaker on which everyone in family bends. These things are beyond statistical analysis. Statistics and number game are for populations and do not fit at the individual level. SO WE MUST PREPARE OURSELVES on our own…… How can we do that? Are you prepared? Have you prepared your family to deal with such a crisis?
Few questions popped up while reading the newspaper articles and view of sociologists and psychologists during last few months. So, I thought ot share them with you all, just to have an idea on what you think about it or did you too think about it?
- Of-course, being close to your family – friends is important in time of crisis, But is it only for a crisis ??? Lately we have thought of family as a responsibility (good word to replace burden) and commitment towards this responsibility has weakened. Why? because all of us believed that we can fly like a free bird without any attachments because we wished to grow beyond geographical, cultural and social boundaries because we were tired of the age-old traditions, restrictions and taboos!!! Family – friends slowly became a place to show off and prove rather than a place to find solace and comfort. Family – friends only pushed us to stretch our limits, but probably we stretched it too much. This is the time to re-think Do we need Family – friends? If yes then Why Do We NEED Them? If No then Why NOT?
- Am I / Is my family prepared for a crisis or such panic? We cherish the thought that “Love is in being Indispensable for someone“. Although it comforts us if someone says “I miss you” or “I can’t live without You” but remember “Love is not making people dependent by doing things for them and serving them for a lifetime, Real love is in making them capabe of doing by imparting skill and knowledge so that he/she is confident and self-reliant”. It’s not about only money! Having money is important, but our preparedness for life, for good or bad time whatever it brings is usually more important. We all know that some conditions are inevitable, but we, mostly, Indians don’t want to talk about it. We feel that not talking and thinking about the Ghost will be helpful in overcoming its fear. Generally, parents teach children, only the limited stuff that they have learned or seen or believed in. I am the believer of the approach where the Best way to protect someone is “to make him or her Capable of Learning & Doing things that you would do for him or her“. Family and people in the family have a great role in this approach. Lately, we have over-emphasised on financial security as the only domain of this preparedness? Actually, the other domain that is family bond and the social tapestry is seen as important but how to focus on them is largely ignored while nurturing young minds. We must ask this question, Am I personally able to handle such panic like Covid19, where all the conventional forms of living are shaking? If I Can! then “Is my family prepared too”? Are we living in an isolated system or inhabiting the same niche as our neighbours and our community? Usually, when we talk about a crisis it is more about “our own shelter and responsibilities”. History reflects that at all times of crisis and danger to existence collective efforts and collective wisdom had the answer. The foresightedness of authorities to create a stable system capable of withstanding a crisis is almost lacking, instead, the administration focuses on individual problems and individualistic approach.
- How to be Prepared? Whoever is responsible for not helping me to learn is not guilty, but if I am not putting my efforts to learn and to be prepared then definitely I am Guilty!!! To address the issue of preparedness, we must learn to see ourself as an essential integral part of the society. Our Skills, knowledge and expertise are subjective to geography, cultural and regional preferences, perceptions and age. We may see ourselves as Individual, which is also important, but we must further extend this to “an individual with a different set of skills and knowledge is part of society”. Our social structure and resources ensure our safety, our happiness. Remember if there is fire in a city, it doesn’t know names or person it just burns!!! burns everything. So if we are doing something that is focused more and more on me and my family then we might put our loved ones at high risk. A system that has provisions for justified and acceptable distribution of resources like land, water, food, education, money etc. will ensure well being of everyone. AND WE ARE PART OF EVERYONE.
- What to do to be prepared as a society? As we might understand till now that “law of average performance” is applicable here too. A society with more no of people in the literate category is more open to learn and adapt. A society that has more no of skilled people is more prosperous. A society with better health and education facility neighbourhood is more developed. Why? Law of Average is the answer. But……Is it possible that all in society are equally prepared and have equal opportunities to be healthy, to live and to prosper? Can We ACHIEVE EQUAL DISTRIBUTION of RESOURCES? Again the communist, capitalist and socialist will have various views, many must have dumped reading till now. But can we really dream of equality? Everyone wants more and more…Wants more than the neighbour or at least more than the previous generation (parents). This quest has a negative detrimental effect on nature and resources used by the human. We started with a thought of prosperity for all, health security for all, safety for all and provisions for all at time of crisis but we forget this rule in normal life. We ended up into fighting for available resources and finally exhausting them to their limits. Natural crisis In times of peace and comfort, We fight with each other as persons, families, ethnic groups, societies, countries, religious communities for capturing the resources and then we want to get united for a cause, that is health and wealth for all. We must shift our approach from “more and more use of resources” to “Use and better use of resources“. A shift from Exploitation to harmony. Harmony among humans, communities, populations, nature. It will help nature to heal fast and then there might be the chance that causes and effects of the crisis will be softened and one day there will be no crisis at all. Let’s dream for that one day!!!
- Do I Know that what I need? This was the most important question that came to my mind while Covid-19 crisis, that WHAT I ACTUALLY NEED IN MY LIFE? What I like? How much I need? and then comes the question that How to Get it? After thinking for hours and days, I found that I want to be Healthy, Happy and I Wanted my family to be Healthy and Happy too. I also realized that Happiness was not in dining out or wearing expensive clothes and accessories. Happiness was actually felt when I and my family was together, was safe and we could also help others in the neighbourhood. So, It’s good to have a fixed routine, responsibilities and aims but we must know that ultimate success is to be Happy 😊. To be happy one doesn’t need too much of money or comfortable job or a degree but rather these are instruments. Instruments may change but the goal is the same and can be achieved by rational thinking and justifiable approach towards our needs.
The scenario has changed in the last one year and we have now started thinking differently about exams, percentage, job, money and abroad visits. What if all the students who prepared or not, get the passing certificate? will they learn anything? or they can still become medicos, engineers, artists, administrators or lawyers!!! they themselves are afraid inside that they have NOT passed the exam but got a chance to be!!!!
Ask Questions to yourself. Your first question will be definitely Why Questions? Which Questions and WHY?
Asking questions makes us think, visualize the situation and then trying to find answers make us think still more, visualize even more and then IMAGINE to find a solution. In this process we learn to ask, to search and finally understand more. And as the noblewoman say “It’s better to be informed and hence In-charge of the situation”
Now what can we ask, here is a list of 5 questions –
- Do I NEED IT?
- How much is ENOUGH?
- Which skill Have I Acquired recently?
- What to unlearn Now? And
- How to be With my loved ones?