Naina explores the opportunities that can emerge from the latest global crisis. Published in the Daily Excelsior, April 29, 2020.
The coronavirus pandemic crisis and the subsequent lockdown which has kept us at home also offers an opportunity to reimagine our approaches to managing ourselves and valuing nature. It is ironic to believe how nature and diseases are closely interconnected. Our insatiable demand for food and other resources has led to the degradation and destruction of entire landscapes, causing disruptions to natural ecosystems and loss of biodiversity. Life is interdependence. Nobody is independent and nobody is dependent, everybody is interdependent. Had we understood this, we would have treated the earth in a different way.
While we are grappling with the pandemic, the slowdown in human activity is having some unexpected, but positive impact on our planet. The human consequences of this pandemic are both behavioural and economical.
With educational institutions wrapped up, people working from home and the evolving changes around us, can be stressful. Something as simple-seeming as working from home is not as easy as it sounds. Not everybody goes home to a room of their own. The switch to online teaching isn’t easy either because each classroom is its own universe, with its own culture and atmosphere. At this point in time, people are coming to terms with the realities of our interconnected world and how difficult it is to temporarily separate those connections to others.
COVID-19 has and will pose one of the biggest challenges we have seen in recent decades.
In a few weeks everything could change with a major impact on workers and the economy. In the past weeks we have seen the significant economic impact of the coronavirus on financial markets and vulnerable industries such as manufacturing, tourism, hospitality and travel. Companies all over the world are in crisis mode. No one can predict with any confidence how the economy will evolve over the coming months. Experts opine that the lessons of the COVID-19 crisis can generate a steep learning curve and sustainably improve corporate resilience as a result; introducing smart work, establishing a culture of trust, upskilling, exploring new avenues.
Most likely, consumer behaviour is likely to change drastically and will have an impact on our propensity to spend. As pointed out by someone, when the government announced the lockdown, none of us went to buy cars or phones or any other appliances; all of us rushed to buy the essentials like groceries, vegetables etc.
Many a times we have all bought so many things that we never needed, because our ego goads us to buy. Beautiful clothes, cars, watches because it boosts our ego when someone else compliments how beautiful they are. We have become dependent on others’ opinions. We have created a false centre. Our prestige, position and everything we have received is all borrowed and whatever is borrowed is not the individual. These can be snatched any time and hence the insecurity. This period of helplessness and uncertainty will give us a chance to retrospect how much is enough.
One can remain secure and safe and avoid a crisis but then there is no growth. Osho points out that the times of crisis are both dangerous and immensely important. They are dangerous to those who have no courage to explore new dimensions of life but the daring individual can use this opportunity to go beyond.
Osho says, “Life remains only when you are moving from one place to another. Life is that movement between two places. You cannot be alive at one place – that’s the difference between a dead thing and an alive phenomenon… The alive phenomenon goes from moving from the known towards the unknown, from the familiar towards the unfamiliar.”
The real question is not how to sail past the storm, but how to be alive and go on remaining courageous enough to take new life every moment.
“Dance, while you are alive. Breathe blissfully while you are alive. Sing while you are alive. Love, meditate, while you are alive. Share your joy, your love, your ecstasy.”
“Make life as beautiful as possible. Just out of thankfulness that existence has chosen you to be, that you are allowed to be, that you are given life.”
Quotes by Osho from
The Wisdom of the Sands, Vol 2, Q 7
The Search, Ch 7, Q 6
The Fish in the Sea is not Thirsty, Ch 8, Q 1