So I've been thinking for a while now (loads of time on my hands, thanks to Coronavirus working it's magic) and here are some lessons I've learnt so far:
1. As a species, we're not indispensable. We're seeing Mother Earth thrive and flourish (at least here in India) when less of us are out and about so to speak. The air has cleared up and I'm seeing a blue in the sky I haven't in a long while. There are birds returning to trees and the whole environment is full of their sounds, so much better to wake up to than horns and cars zooming past (I live right next to a highway, so I can literally "hear" the difference).
2. This planet is not our entitlement, but a loan we owe our coming generations. And once this is over (and it will be) we need to ensure we don't fall right back into the deep hole we already were in. We're not even completely out of it yet, but this lockdown has shown me that we can certainly work towards a better world. By being aware of our surroundings, by using public transport as and when available and possible, by shopping local (here, the delivery companies are barely able to reach and make good with orders placed, we've had all our essentials being made available by our local grocery and other shops), by taking care of how much we "take" from the planet.
3. It has shown us resilience of the human spirit too. I truly salute all the medical professionals, the cleaning and sanitation staff, both for the cities and all the hospitals, the cops, the guy who collects our trash, the security guards. All these people are outside, taking care of us and putting themselves at risk without a single thought. They too have families, but they've put duty before self. What an amazing gesture, one I'm sure we can never repay.
4. There's more to life than spending weekends dancing or drinking or both. I've fallen in love with reading all over again, picked up the pen after eons, found time to pursue a little bit of photography, from my balcony. I've found that switching my phone off and sitting with a book is such a peaceful feeling (with a coffee of course).
5. Also seeing people deal with fear and anxiety daily, and then seeing others helping them out. Instances where people have reached out to their neighbours, run errands for the elderly, come closer as a community.
6. Also learnt that sometimes panic can bring out the worst in us, and we respond by putting our interests and self before the community, but that doesn't help. That's definitely one of the lessons we should not forget. Abundance with one individual shall never translate to wellness for the community.
7. One of the biggest lessons I've learnt is less is more. Here, we have so many for whom 2 square meals is a luxury, and this has only made me truly thankful, that not only can I afford to have 3, but I can do it in a room of my own, sitting with all sorts of devices to distract my mind from the mayhem going on outside. This has absolutely made me realize that what I consider a right (electricity, running water, food) is a priviledge for so many.
8. I've reconnected with my family a lot more than I typically would have. Sure there is some friction on some days, but at the end of the day, I'm glad I can sit and have a round of cards with mum and lose horribly (I suck at playing cards) but still end up having a good time.
The virus has caused a lot of damage, but I think that it has also given us the chance to introspect and understand the things that matter, that we would otherwise never think about, in our typical daily lives, where all we were doing is running from work to home and home to work.
I truly hope we don't lose these lessons and go back to status quo once everything is better. I hope there are lot more hugs, smiles, pleases and thank yous. I hope there is a lot more appreciation for people who help us with our daily chores. I hope we are thankful for what we have, and I hope we never forget that this experience was meant to change us for the better, even though it may not seem like it at the moment.
In the end I also pray for everyone who has suffered because of this virus, and pray they get the strength to move on.
Please feel free to add your own lessons, and pardon me if this felt like a ramble.