What is life?
A question we hear a lot of people asking more often nowadays but always fail to find a permanent answer. Maybe because life is a dynamic process and different for each one of us and hence no one word can describe everything we feel or think about it. But right now we can all mutually agree that life has become stagnant. It was a hustle-bustle until when everything came to a halt which has no foreseeable end. Maybe that’s where the meaning of this stillness is hidden.
The pandemic has restricted all of us from living life as we knew it.
It has been 4 months since we began the new decade but it also brings hazy memories of the same time last year when things made more sense. When life was all about being busy. Busy at work, busy exploring, busy buying, busy talking. Being busy meant living life and having instant gratifications. But what about today?
There is a multitude of things that the pandemic stops us from doing. It stops some of us from meeting loved ones. It stops us from meeting friends and partners who are the antidote to our sad times or maybe stops us from going to that one place that was your getaway from the small world you had, and a whole lot of other things! But to me, the pandemic has made me aware of my dependencies, vulnerabilities, and weaknesses.
The many things we co-depended on each other consciously or subconsciously. But is the realization of our shortcomings as human beings a good thing? All the lives we have been taught to be engaged with an activity-an activity that yields results say scores in examinations, money, relationships, and so on. The activity of simply thinking with no inputs and outputs was never a thought, let alone an activity.
Human beings are the most adaptable species on planet Earth. If we don’t have anything to do, we find things to do, things to keep ourselves engaged. For if we didn’t, it would threaten our independence and existence. And this never-soon ending pandemic just made me do that-to think with a thought, maybe sometimes.
The power of introspection and reflection is not just for philosophers and neither does it mean those doing it are philosophers in the offing. A man is a product of her/his circumstances and this designs their train of thought. The pandemic has made me think about – the why what, and how of existence. The ‘why’ and ‘what’ can never have a convincible and proven answer but the how can maybe make sense. How we exist simply reveals the nexus of mankind-how we are emotionally, physically, mentally, and financially connected.
The lines of social division and privilege have never been so visible. The power of choice. All have come to the forefront; to mask the reality of life and existence. The poor and rich, the child and the old woman, the young and married all have it differently. Yet we are all connected by an invisible thread of faith, love, and hope whose presence we all felt after the minute virus created havoc all around the world.
Maybe the virus is here to make us realize and remind of our importance and compel us to delve deeper within ourselves to hear the buried thoughts that live within us. Valuing most mundane activities of our lives like buying groceries or bargaining at the market and cherishing the relationships that we are connected with-small things that made us realize our dependencies.
We may have been underproductive most times and have rough days. Finding work and study pointless or even finding the tiniest of chores like washing clothes in the machine a big task. Sometimes feeling guilty about it and at other times nothing. It’s completely fine. The concept of making the best use of time is frankly not a good idea unless it’s a natural thought and done out of curiosity. It’s easy to succumb to the pressure of building skills and being physically active during this time. Feeling apologetic about how much time we save? However, I realized that my body’s maintenance began with the mind and we must listen to our mind and do things as we wish and feel.
It’s completely fine to not be productive in this pandemic.
It’s difficult, it’s insane frankly. To live in solitude and isolation with no end known. But remember our existence is never wasted, we are here for a purpose. The purpose is to figure the ‘new normal’ as the world calls it. The new normal of conversation, rekindling, and connecting. And above all self-care. If you are a believer in some mighty force that drives this world, maybe it will help you find solace and keep peace in these turbulent times.
And I am sure some of us by now have come to terms with the ‘new normal’ that celebrates its first anniversary now. We all are connected with our anatomy and emotionally and this collective sense helps and motivates us to help and uplift others, to love and pray for each other-the crux of humanity. Maybe busyness is not an indicator of living life always.
The ability to decipher the meaning of life, hope, and existence is what makes us alive and this comes when we help each other and be empathetic since that makes us humane. The pandemic has been a renaissance of the purpose of existence and serves as a reminder of our vulnerabilities as social species.
May the force be with you!
All images used in this article are for representational purposes only