The Pandemic Is Unfortunate. But Is There Any Silver Lining?
There are no two opinions about the fact that the pandemic has been absolutely devastating for each one of us. To say that 2020 has been the worst year in the history of humankind, would be an understatement, especially for young people like me who were forced to spend the best days of their college lives, sulking at home, while simultaneously going through the drudgery of online classes. The past year has been a nightmare for those who were already struggling with mental health issues and problematic personal relationships. We are always asked to look at the brighter side of things and events, but looking at the so called brighter side of a pandemic that has destroyed millions of families across the globe, can be extremely difficult, and even impossible for some. However, we must never lose hope, for it is the most powerful tool that we, as humans, have. As they say, hope can move mountains. Keeping aside all the misery that the pandemic has brought upon us, I believe that it is equally important to talk about how this year has actually proven to be a game changer for people, and for the world as a whole, in several ways.
Firstly, it served as a golden opportunity for our planet to breathe, heal and rejuvenate. In the absence of human activity, as a result of lock down restrictions, our environment actually got the chance to reset itself. In that sense, the national lock down came about as a blessing in disguise for the nature. More than ever before, the pandemic has made us realize how important it is to address the issue of climate change, and what can possibly happen if we continue to abuse the planet the way we have been doing for years now. What we are experiencing right now is probably just the tip of the iceberg, in that sense.
Secondly, the pandemic gave us humans a chance to slow down, and to take a much needed break from the robotic lives that we had been living for years, and use it to actually reflect upon ourselves and on what we truly want. While there were several people who were stranded in different parts of the world, miles away from their loved ones, the lock down actually gave people (who were lucky enough to be quarantined at home with their families) an opportunity to reflect upon their personal relationships and bonds. The fast paced, over competitive world that we live in, can easily make us forget how truly fortunate we really are. For those of us who had the luxury to stay within the comforts and confines of our homes, along with our families, the pandemic proved to be a turning point. It made us realize how truly precious the human life is and how significant it is to spend time with people who really matter to us.
With nowhere to go and no restaurants to order food from, we actually had the chance to focus on ourselves and do the things that feature in our new year resolutions every time but for various reasons, never make it to the second week of January. It forced us to go back to the traditional ways of life, in that sense. Reading, meditating, cooking, eating healthy, working out, practicing gratitude, developing new hobbies and most importantly, investing in self care, has transformed the lives of several people. Self care is not just about pampering yourself and making time for material comforts. It is also about having a great deal of discipline. In that sense, the pandemic, and the culture of working from home, that it introduced us to, played a significant role in enhancing our productivity. Not only is it an extremely sustainable practice in context of environmental conservation, it also helped us plan our day well, and manage our time efficiently. In a way, it actually taught us what work life balance really is.
Thirdly, it reinforced the significance of culture and community. It was but heart warming to see people going above and beyond in every possible way to help those in need. Moments of crisis make us realize the importance of virtues such as humility. They require us to pause and critically analyse the decisions that we take and the choices that we make. Thus, the COVID 19 pandemic brought about a once in a millennium opportunity for us to take advantage of this pause, and think about ways to revamp our personal and professional lives. It helped us discover those facets of our personalities, which we never even knew, existed. Ultimately, the silver lining is defined by how we choose to perceive it.