Don’t expect life to be predictable or fair. It isn’t. You don’t know what will happen tomorrow or the next minute for that matter. Embrace this uncertainty.
Fear for one’s life is understandable. There is so much to one’s life beyond oneself: promises, hope, expectation and most importantly, loved ones. But, never forget that death is inevitable. This brevity of life should force us to pause and reflect. This would lead us to more fundamental thoughts on our purpose in life. In that context, coronavirus has been a facilitator, the starting point for a more meaningful understanding of our presence in this world.
All of us are going through the same fear and anxieties. Now pause for a minute, and try understanding the pain of people in Kashmir, Gaza, Syria, Myanmar. Try understanding the pain and suffering of refugees. Come closer home. Try understanding the fear and anxieties of Indian Muslims. Try understanding our vulnerabilities. The fear that you feel to your life because of some virus. This fear of our (Muslim) life is not new to us, we have been through worse. Try asking people in North East Delhi about the fear that they have been through.
You start panicking at the prospect of food shortages, mask shortages. Imagine the situation of people in refugee camps. What would they do?
This should be a moment of reflection. You will get amazing clarity and the result of this clarity would be humility. This fear of coronavirus should remind us of one fundamental fact and that is of human interdependence. The irony is that we are realizing the importance of human connection, only when we need to be socially distant. The important lesson is we all have a role to play if humans have to survive. And right now, that role is to socially isolate yourself. There is a mutual obligation that each one of us has towards each other.
It is only by empathy and helping others that we can enrich our presence in this world. Not by hoarding wealth. You can understand this simple philosophy just by looking at the current situation. How governments all around the world have been helping citizens with cash and subsidies. How businesses are encouraged to give employees paid leave. How doctors and healthcare workers are risking their lives to save you and me. This is what we humans are. Creatures of love and togetherness. All of us need each other; your money and your status don’t mean anything if you don’t have love and empathy in your heart.
Let our anxiety and fear be a reminder of the pain and suffering of others too. Let this be a reminder of the entire suffering of humanity. From Syria to Myanmar. From a mental patient to a person who has lost his loved one. We are all connected by pain. We are all connected by suffering. Let us take this moment to reconnect with our root: the root of the need to be for each other.