Corona: blessing in disguise?

Letters / Opinions

Sajjad writes about the current virus crisis, its impact and possible outcome for humanity.

People holding hands

What is a crisis? Is it when you break down in tears about the present misfortune in your life, or is it about real and unrepairable damage? Is it just a momentary wave in the ocean or a hole in the ground you just fell into? And if it is a hole, can you get out of it? These are the questions we must ask ourselves in times of crisis: is it a problem you can solve and repair or not?

As an individual you cannot do much to solve the problems representing themselves because of this virus… even if an antidote is found, it has to be manufactured and distributed, all of which takes time.

So it all comes down to us as an individuals. In fact, these great moments of human crisis throw us back onto ourselves in our individuality, our aloneness.

There is incredible beauty in this particular ‘crisis’ at this particular time for humanity. It contains all the elements of human growth for those who can see. In particular: we are advised to be on our own! Rest, relax in your solitude… when does society ever advise this? Never! For us as meditators this crisis seems to be perfect: take distance from others if you HAVE to go out, otherwise GO IN; it seems Osho is speaking again!

The other advice given is equally beneficial for sannyasins: don’t shake hands (AND we are used to it… remember wearing gloves and using condoms?), eat healthy food and be prepared for death at any time – it can hit suddenly…

Animals and trees are enjoying clean air for the first time in a long while. Today I heard the birds exceptionally joyful and free in the afternoon sky; and the sunrise was of a calm serenity I haven’t seen in a long while.

Some of the younger people might even experience the air so fresh as they have never known before – because of factories having shut down.

I have seen children running and jumping in the streets, playing with a ball, laughing and enjoying, walking around with friends, gossiping and saying ‘hello!’ to others they meet on the road. Scenes I have not seen in some 15 years or so… children are usually never seen on the streets here in Holland, they are either in school or at home behind their screens.

Is there finally going to be a change in human consciousness because of this virus?

We need it so much! Never before in my life have I witnessed humanity more alienated from its roots. People have been constantly creating destruction in nature – and never stopping, believing they can just go on and on consuming and producing, consuming and producing… while nature and existence cannot sustain this desire of mankind.

What a gift the virus is for me as an individual! I love to be able to greet the children for the first time in years; where have they been hiding? I love to see nature celebrating, anticipating this will continue.

That brings me to the last point.

What happens after the so-called crisis? It will depend on how long it will last, simply because humans are so programmed experiencing the world as it has been until now… and the majority will want it all back,  wanting life to be just like it was before the crisis emerged. But is this possible? It will take a long time before we are back to the normal routine, by then elements of this wonderful crisis will have struck root.

I know of a few people who are really enjoying these moments, just like me!

Updated 31.3.2020 and 1.4.2020: change of title, added intro, editorial changes in text.


Sajjad is a social psychologist and business course trainer based in the Netherlands.

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