Get-hooked March 23, 2020
We are all one Big Family – Vineet Saraiwala
Our guest columnist this week is Vineet Saraiwala, an avid trekker, marathoner, and endurance cyclist. Vineet, who is visually impaired, is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Bangalore.
The coronavirus is a pandemic with the entire world being threatened with its power. The virus which originated in Wuhan, China, has exponentially engulfed the entire human race sparing no country, caste, gender, borders, and income levels. But its beauty still mesmerises me and makes me wonder in amazement. We have always believed in the oneness of the world and interconnectedness of nature. We are all one big family. The happiness and wellbeing of one another is a shared responsibility bestowed on this family collectively. In these troubled times, how health from our neighbour to the wellbeing of a citizen in Italy affects our own health directly has never been so obvious and evident.
Larger lesson of coronavirus pandemic
Whether it’s individuals, states, giant corporations, nations or continents, we have always put our self-interest as the foremost objective. Our very purpose of existence has been linked to maximising of wealth and power for our own good. What corona reveals to us in a metaphor is that all forces – mankind, animal, nature and the invisible -are one. Our scriptures have always spoken about the universality of the cosmos but we are ignorant of it. The bush fires in Australia, nuclear disaster in Japan, oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico or the Bhopal gas tragedy affected lives but has never made this linkages so transparent & open.
There are those capitalists who will still believe that you throw in the money and everything can be solved. All the global relationships have money as the only currency but corona is smashing and laughing at our faces to tell us,”Kiddo, get out of your deep slumber”. Imagine at this very moment if everyone acted in their self-interest and began maximising personal gains. The doctors, nurses, maids, delivery workers, researchers, scientists, grocery staff, pharmacists, cab drivers, and ministers would all be in quarantine and keep their lives as supreme. A big shout out and applause to the generosity and love showered by unknown individuals who are working round the clock for this human race to survive. What corona is simply revealing us is that there are greater forces than money alone.
Coronavirus requires collective action
A Chinese was lynched by a foreign mob, boxes of toilet papers were stolen from a super market, surgical masks disappeared from medical stores, patients ran away from hospital, social shaming of positive cases, hoarding of essential items by people are understandable. These are perfectly rational things which are expected to happen during times of crisis. Reflect for a moment that this panic and hatred will definitely solve your personal problem. But the corona is a truly global problem which needs to be solved collectively. If one human is affected in a region, another 100 are in danger. It’s a chain, a ripple which requires cooperation and not competition from fellow human beings.
Look at the wonderful world outside your window. Feel for all the random act of kindness which you are receiving. A doctor started a volunteering group to counsel patients, a Deaf started corona advisory in sign language, a neighbour delivered food anonymously, a worker went upstairs to give food to an old couple, a retail chain launched a dedicated hour for senior citizens and disabled people, A nurse worked for over 24 hours nonstop, a surgeon died in the line of duty, airport staff got infected, a newspaper started publishing two additional blank pages to be used as toilet papers or factory workers tirelessly working for our testing kits. All moving stories of generosity and kindness. The air which we breathe, water we drink, food which we eat are all Gifts of nature. It is not free but an obligation to give our own gift to this world.
Open our hearts to beat Coronavirus
We all are one family and if corona is stepping up its game, we too, need to step up ours. We all should open our hearts to serve humanity in whatever capacity we can. Help that old uncle in your building, Talk to a friend, pray for the world, acknowledge your security guard, offer water to a Delivery staff, gift your hoarded sanitisers, praise the cab driver, spread public information on corona, play with children, write a Thank You card, meditate in silence and share smiles all in this world of hatred. Corona has revealed such a profound wisdom which we never understood since ages and it is unfortunate that a disaster needed to be there on us to reveal this message of this interconnectedness of the world that we are all one big family.
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