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Why aren't you playing for the world?
None of us knows what we are supposed to do in these horrid times.
And those who are calling shots are doing it from a whim and hoping it will work. We are clinging to that hope because there is nothing else to hold onto. There is no solution. We are living inside our homes and waiting for the virus to go away or some medical group to announce that a vaccine has been produced. Until then, all we have is each other.
The "Novel" in Novel Coronavirus is a fitting word that describes the era we are ushering in together. An age which we are trying to understand with the words that are no longer relevant. We are still using the lens of hatred and animosity while we react to how others are responding to the Coronavirus scare.
Empathy may well be the answer. But even that has no fuel to mount this Everest. How can one be empathetic when protecting self-interests is a natural go-to action for a human? The fear of death is off the charts, and that is driving most of us to do heinous unintended crimes that we usually wouldn't do. But then these aren't normal circumstances, then why are we expecting humans to step up and show that they are the most intelligent species? Maybe we aren't.
When an individual displays the covid-19 symptoms, the recommendation is to do self-isolation for 14 days, get tested, and follow the medical advice. Many people across the world are doing just that, and a few aren't for reasons such as fear and ignorance. We can fight ignorance with information and knowledge. How do we combat fear? The fear of death makes us do weird things.
It makes us take a flight home when we aren't supposed to. It makes us say no to the doctor for a preliminary test. It makes us believe that our immunity knows how to tackle the novel virus. It makes us do unnecessary actions leading to unintended harmful consequences.
How do we then park our instinct of protecting the self and play for the team i.e., the world? Is it even an expectation we should have? From my Twitter timeline, it seems like the most obvious thing to do is to think for others first. How did we arrive at this expectation and then put the entire human race at that pedestal?
I, like you, mock the stupidity of the masses at every chance I get. I laughed at the photo that showed hundreds of people trying to board a bus to go to their homes. I laughed, somewhat hysterically, at the Go Corona, Corona Go offering a few religious men made. I also unequivocally laughed at the response India had to the call of gratitude made by our Prime Minister. I have gone to the extent of asking, "Do we deserve to be saved when we have people like this believing in atrocious beliefs?"
Is this our way of self-congratulating our "intelligence"? Are we coping through humour? Or are we measuring humans only by their intelligence and nothing else? I don't know. Our total lack of empathy doesn't sit well with me. Forget ours; I am ashamed of my lack of perspective. I understand how this piece will be perceived as me pandering to an audience. Highlighting my wokeness and proclaiming to be someone better than others. I am not in any which way.
Let's do a better job of responding to this crisis than what we are doing right now. Yes, it's easy to live in our echo chambers and beat the same drums every day. Or we could attempt to invoke the capacity of compassion and empathy and look at the world from that lens? It won't be easy. It never really is.
This change will not happen overnight. Next time when you see yourself mocking someone for stupidity, take a pause, try and make an effort to understand why the person might be doing what he or she is doing, and see if you can make sense of it with the broader context of fear looming the world. The first step is to attempt to see the world from their lens, and the goal is to walk in their shoes when you have made that journey.