When we are no longer able to change a situation we are challenged to change ourselves.
Amidst any crisis that befall on us, we humans have innate capabilities to evolve & survive not just biologically but psychologically too.. We can bounce back to the normal.
The impact of Corona on our life and business is huge. It has brought a change in our lifestyle, in our work, in our social relations, and almost everything as part of our life. Throughout the world, this is an extremely critical time. Life is not easy for any one as no one was prepared and thus the news is saddening. While we sit in comfort at our homes, there are many, who are under tremendous pressure: The bureaucrats, police, ministers, and doctors, scientists, Lab technicians.
Is it really possible to run away from this pandemic? People are afraid. The fear of death is challenging for everyone as we desire to stay alive healthy. It reminds me an old story:
In ancient time, it was told, ‘death’ and disease were not able to enter the territory of any country without obtaining permission from the sages. So once ‘death’, ‘disease’ and ‘fear’ sought permission of a great sage to enter into the territory of a country. The sage asked ‘disease’ how many people you are going to effect… he told a fixed number. ‘Death’ was asked how many lives you want to take…’death’ told 40% of the effected people. When the sage asked ‘fear’…how many you are going to effect…fear told NIL. The sage allowed them. Once the pandemic was over ‘death’, ‘disease’ and ‘fear’ left. The sage saw ‘death’ and ‘disease’ had kept their promise but lot of people were leaving with ‘fear’. The sage asked ‘fear’…it is not expected of you. All most all are following you, whereas you had promised me that you will not take any one with you. Fear told I am not taking anyone, all these people are voluntarily following me. The moral of the story is that fear is inside us and if we can challenge the situation and change ourselves, we can come out of any situation.
My experience during this situation is the first thing to follow is the disciplined way of life and respect the guidelines. It is seen that people have come back to the basics.
Those who were telling earlier that we don’t have time, now they don’t know how to spend their time, those who were telling we can’t survive even for a day without non-veg, now have become strictly vegetarian. Complaints and arguments have drastically come down, people are vanishing from the roads, market, malls, Cinema halls, restaurants, hospitals etc. The mightiest of the might is helpless before the nature. There is a paradigm shift. Whatever appeared as a necessity earlier is no more a necessity.
Is it really possible to run away from a pandemic, in our highly interconnected world? Although we cannot escape death, we can make an effort to delay it. That is why the governments of so many countries are restricting people’s movement. They want everyone to isolate themselves and to engage in social distancing. These measures are reasonable steps to diminish the contagion and lessen the pressures on health systems that are already overburdened. But from a psychological perspective, how do these measures affect people?
We should keep in mind that Homo sapiens is first and foremost a social animal. A large body of research has shown that, socially active people tend to have higher levels of physical and psychological well-being. As humans, we have a strong need for inclusion within a social collective. As all the asocial gatherings are prohibited, therefore, loneliness is sure to raise its ugly head. For some people, this sense of isolation will be extremely stressful.
What aggravates the situation, is the fact that, in times of crisis, human being likes to come together to share experiences, show solidarity and help each other. Without any doubt, this time of crisis as the coronavirus pandemic threatens people’s lives and livelihoods. It is exactly during such crises that we need social support the most. Togetherness can protect us against the negative impact that these events can have on our mental health.
Therefore, what’s asked from us – although absolutely necessary in the greater scheme of things – is exactly the opposite of what we human beings normally do. Not being able to seek the comfort of others just adds to the level of stress and anxiety already caused by the crisis.
The stress and anxiety are also creating a fair amount of paranoia in some people, a very rational reaction to feeling threatened by this “invisible enemy” around us. Unfortunately, paranoia compounds the distancing effect, adding fuel to the fire.
Now many of us are trying to stay connected through calls, texts, emails and other virtual means. These alternative ways of remaining in contact can contribute to a sense of togetherness. They may be especially important to people who live alone. With fewer resources to draw upon, individuals may experience serious stress reactions.
On the positive side, social isolation might be a never-seen-before opportunity to practice greater self-reflection. As we have been conditioned all our lives to run from one appointment to another, it has become far too easy to run away from ourselves. For example, embarking on an inner journey – hopefully, whenever possible, with a virtual guide – can be a great learning experience. It implies discovering what we stand for and finding out our strengths, our weaknesses, our values, our beliefs, our desires or, generally speaking, the major scripts in our inner theatre. While on this inner journey, we can try to work out what makes us laugh and to do more of it. We should work out what makes us cry and do less of it.
On the other side, lets also think of those daily labourers, small businessmen, thella walla, gupchup vendors, rickshaw pullers, and all such people those who are out of job and their lively hood is threatened. All those who are not having any shelter or square meal a day. The misery of such people with their family can’t be imagined. We have experienced that irrespective of Rich or poor, Prince or pauper, Men & women, caste or religion the Corona virus has affected one and all. It has challenged the knowledge and wisdom of the whole civilization. It has not spared any country big or small.
Everyone be it individuals, family, society, organisations, industries, scientists have had showed exemplary courage and came with lot of creativity and innovations to combat the situation. This has strengthened our belief that there is no unresourceful person and necessity is the mother of invention.
We have once again proved that how Yoga, pranayama, meditation, our food habit and the inner transformation is important to keep your immune system and belief strong to face the challenges of life.
So lets join together and
Smile even if it hurts
Live by Choices & not chances
Make changes not excuses
Be motivated not manipulated
To excel, not to compete
Choose self-esteem, not self pity,
Listen to our inner voice,
Not the random opinion of others
Let’s hope, whatever has began will come to an end, let’s wait for,
dusk has no choice only to be followed by dawn.
Let me complete with this couplet:
Zindagi bahut khoobsurat hai, Zindagi se pyar karo,
Agar ho raat to, subah ka intezar karo
Wo pal bhi aayega jiska tujhe intezar hai,
Bus us khuda par bharosa aur waqt par aitvaar karo
Author: Dr. Ashok Kumar Sahu
HR Consultant & Corporate trainer
Former Executive Director(H&A)
National Aluminium Co.Ltd.