Nature has pressed the RESET button and we have to learn from it! Our entry and exit from the world are still in the hands of the creator. He is the Master and we are tourists on long term visa but never permanent stay.
Bonding has increased only when we have accepted that we are on the same boat and there is no escaping the lock down … to be happy or sad is our choice. The ground reality for different sections being so distorted .The reality is that the HNI in the boat is worrying about his wealth value getting reduced or holiday being cancelled or servants not coming back to work while the daily worker does not know how will he be able to feed for his family today as his job is gone.
Our actions are now more to enjoying being together by caring & sharing for each other whether it’s at home or the virtual workplace. When few single parents wanted to opt out of the morning call as their children were home & needed attention around that time the CEO changed the time by 1 hour – every alternate day. WFH? Rather, Home is the new Workplace.
A lot is being talked of and showcased yet the people at the bottom of the pyramid are going through really stressful and anxious times. There is no space to coexist 24 by 7 together. Food, Water, Bathrooms are in short supply. Uncertainty has taken over their anxiety and over analysis is leading to paralysis of the mind.
Leadership is grappling more power without accountability and imposing itself – balance which is key seems missing. An essential commodities operation wanted workmen to report early morning which was not possible as no transport was available – the boss simply said cut money from their salaries or replace them as he knew that they needed the work to survive. Finally, some press releases forced him to relent. Another CEO talked openly about his co.’s current scenario wherein he wanted to sack people yet said I am open to any ideas from all of you. People agreed to a cut in bonus, monthly pay & some cost cutting measures – for the next 6 months everyone’s job was safe. An extreme misuse of power & authority wherein a group of poor farmers were sprayed on with pesticides as we do in the fields to safeguard them & others – how inhuman can it get?
Soap is the new Hope. Hand washing has become the new protocol even before Namaste! Balconies, gardens and roofs have become the new coffee shops. Rural India is going through its own mess with agricultural produce getting wasted, entry from outside being stopped and people being quarantined before entry – imagine walking more than 400 kms in deep heat & uncertainty with hope to see your family and reach a secure base and then being told to stay out for 14 days . It’s the need of the hour. Domestic violence is on the rise & self-help groups are doing their best to stall it… their reach is limited. Railway coaches & old buses have become isolation centers and temporary shelters.
Children & family are now stress creators / busters depends on each one’s situation. Confined by Nature I think slowly acceptance is reducing the stress and increasing the joy of being together .Sowing seeds, tending to gardens, adopting new pets, painting, baking, board games, home cooked food, family time has never been more available almost like an overdose – indulge and be happy or fret over it. For the poor the child is a nuisance and yet sex being the easy source of relaxation the year of the covid will see more and more pregnant women.
Some action areas to awaken our conscious around Caring, Sharing, listening & Speaking to help us tide over these times as a social collective.
Caring – The elderly is feeling anxious & lonely. Someone who makes a call to them or gets them something they need or maybe celebrates is like Florence Nightingale to them. We ran small errands for nearby people and also exchanged notes via paper planes. The women of the house need more attention / help as the load was getting high so each one of us pitched in to do our bit. A group of 20 engineers had landed back (the evening a partial lockdown was declared) the CEO bought for each one a milk carton, bread & a hand sanitizer which was given to them at the airport itself.
Sharing – Food hoarding went to the next level. Toilet paper and sanitizer are the new must have and people started having fights not realizing that this was not going to last lifelong. Snacks and food packets were being sent around the neighborhood where there were homeless people. Drones are being used for delivery and even dating to share phone numbers across the street. When a coworker heard about the secretary’s husband being quarantined, they took over her workload for the next two weeks & kept in touch. Community kitchens have sprung up & lots of individuals are doing their bit daily.
Listening – My quota of listening seemed to overflow with NOT any more when I turned over to look back & found that I did not know so many things about my near & dear ones. Suddenly it seemed that I was able to listen to different birds and their chirping in an appreciative manner. There was silence outside and yet when people came out on their balconies / gardens every evening there was so much to listen and observe. A third ear seemed to have opened up.On virtual calls people started talking out of context yet the boss would allow each one 2 minutes before moving on politely – it was like an anxiety reduction antivirus.
Speaking – With WFH already there was an over dose of speaking. To connect now with family & friends far away it seemed real speaking as each one was at ease & there was no rush. The leaders decided that – More 1 to 1 calls over coffee or a drink were being set up to lighten the overall environment & let people know that the world has not come to a stop. Relationship as a skill is key to our happiness, peace of mind & long life.
Let’s Rejoice and enjoy this deep humane connection with nature,yourself & others. Together we will soon tide over this too says Naveen Khajanchi!