What is this happening?
Nothing that we had ever thought of. Nothing that we ever believed would happen in this 21st Century. We had the two great World Wars of the last century as reminder, and we thought that the world has learnt its lesson. Now we are more educated, civilized, aware of our rights and duties, modern, technology-laden, and more over, humanitarian after the War…. We have machines, equipment, and god knows what else to anticipate the happenings of nature beforehand. Whether a storm is going to brew or the exact count of the earthquake. We know it all. But is knowing enough?
The blind hunger for power defining the 20th Century is not how we would define ourselves in the post millenial period. We have our boundaries, we have our independence, we have organized Government. In short, we are better than the earlier generations is the belief. But are we?
Our education system catering to maximum number of people in the urban as well as the rural sections, has been training the young generation in disaster management. You ask any school going kid about the precautions one needs to take when an earthquake takes place or in case travelling through a jungle area or when a famine breaks up or in case of theft. He or she would recite wonderful points. In short, we are ready to face the world. And again the same question, Are we really ready?
The virus scare faced by all of us in 2020 is not unprecedented nor is it occult. It has been termed pandemic by the world. It has virtually brought the whole world to a standstill. The lockdown has saved further damage. There was the plague hundred years ago, the famines, the two world wars and the various other flu and disease scare. There was a large scale destruction in all these events. But as I mentioned earlier, those were the times when we were not that advanced, educated, modern etc.
We are all trying the find the source of the virus and trying hard to curb the extent to which it can damage us. We are all trying to create awareness and take precautions. Some of us are successful in implementing and some of us are still trying. What we are differing in is the response that we are giving to such a dangerous thing. Modernity, self sufficiency, education, resources; is it making us ignorant and arrogant? Is it making us neglectful of the alertness and preparedness we need to show in face of this disaster which has devoured more than 50,000 people in the world? On the contrary, we get information of the people affected, the deaths taking place somewhere else, not near our house, our locality. And we become careless. We have faith that the discoveries of medical science and artificial intelligence would somehow save the world.
What can man do in such a scenario? Ignore? Have Patience? Pray? Every individual would have a different response to the situation. Every individual would pass through the troughs and crests. And sometimes he or she would show signs of indifference. And it would all be normal. We all are reacting to a thing over which we do not have any control. It is more than necessary for all of us to be more aware of each other in the present scenario. The immediate neighbour, may be a total stranger, needs your attention. May be the maids and servants need money for sustenance. They might also need other utility items. Be generous. This is the time that we were been prepared by destiny. This is the time when our education is going to help us be human.
Some good changes have come about around us. The civic sense that was going for a toss has been re enforced in us by the situation. Let us not presume that these good things that we are experiencing in this pandemic period would continue. Modern Man has the tendency of being opportunistic. He will return to his old habits once the situation changes. But can we take time out and consider the changes that can be brought about once the situation becomes stable? Can we really consciously think what is good for us? If isolation is the key, can we be obedient enough ‘not to make reply, not to reason why, but to do or die’? Can we learn to labour and to wait?
This is what is needed right now: OBEDIENCE and PATIENCE