BY THERON CARMINE DE SOUSA
New Delhi, April 17 (IANS) The Covid-19 virus, is a harbinger of Change – and will continue to accelerate change at a different velocity than the world has experienced over the last few decades.
Therefore only people who are able to adapt to change, will find the new normal conditions to both survive and thrive. The glass half full vs half empty approach. It has the potential to subtly or not so subtly change dominant religions and schools of thought. Just like the bubonic plague changed Europe after the Middle Ages and was the catalyst for the Reformation.
So what makes Covid-19 so special? Beware the Ides of March – echoes, as the world continues to go into various stages of lockdown in the subsequent days, weeks and months. The month of March 2020 brought with it a few inescapable, brutal and stark truths. This virus kills universally. Irrespective of being rich or poor. Irrespective of race, gender or orientation. Irrespective of caste, creed or conviction. Irrespective of whether you are politically Left or Right leaning. Irrespective of whether you believe in climate change or whether you’re a climate skeptic. Irrespective of whether you’re religious or an atheist.
This is probably one of the few times, that luck and prayers are a parallel coin toss away. If it’s prayer versus luck – no one who devoutly prays would die post being infected by the virus or be infected at all. The bubonic plague proved the veracity of this theory.
So whether you pray to many gods or one. Whether you’re intact or circumcised. Whether you’re a virgin or someone who practices abstinence, or, whether you’re a hedonist who dives into activity. Whether you’re a vegetarian or a carnivore. Whether you’re a teetotaler or a tippler. Whether you have a low IQ and physically strong or have a high IQ and genetically weak. Whether you’re not in the best physical health, but can afford quality medical access or whether you’re economically disadvantaged but your life’s circumstances have built up your immunity. This virus is an equaliser. It could get anyone and everyone. It could be you or it could be me.
So until the world discovers a proper workable vaccine or the treatments available are definitive with manageable side effects, Covid-19 will continue to hang over us like a Damocles sword. Ready to strike any of us at any time. That is a rather sobering thought; and that fact alone, will have everyone, unsure and constantly guessing. It will physically, emotionally or mentally alter everyone who thought they had a pre-charted life plan. A friend of mine described this virus as delightfully cold hearted and undeniably fair. To me, the virus is poignantly random and perfectly democratic in selection and indiscriminately autocratic in dispensation.
So how do we digest this new reality ? From my perspective, everything is important and nothing is important. Every choice is yours to make and every moment is yours to appreciate; or not. That too, is a choice. It’s whatever works for you, as long as it doesn’t harm those around you. I use the word harm, instead of hurt as too many politically correct and over sensitive sorts get hurt too easily. And you can never please all of the people, all of the time.
All we can do now, is to not over think; but introspect. Not necessarily the mind numbingly deep introspection, done by people who take themselves too seriously. But rather, simple rudimentary thoughts, about how you see yourself and how you see your interactions with the world around you. It is our mind and will-power that separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom. Some highly evolved people will describe it to you, as the need to be in a state of constant and heightened consciousness. A simple mind like myself, simply puts it down, to being mindful.
Positive Change, starts with being mindful. It’s up to us to ensure that the new normal change that Covid-19 brings, is as positive as we can possibly make it. And as my dad used to say – the mind is like an umbrella or a parachute – it only really works when it’s open. Happy Thinking.
Epilogue : These are the personal perspectives of Theron Carmine de Sousa #TC powered by ï¿½Tenbo : The Art Of Perspective’. The writer is a self confessed fallible human being and suggests that all perspectives to be taken with a pinch or pound of salt. The writer is thus far, consciously not active on any social media platforms. In these changing times, he’s considering changing his views of being active online. Someday. Just not today.
(The author Theron Carmine de Sousa is Executive Director, FWC (Ferry Wharf Consulting) and a regular panelist at India Design Week. )