COVID-19 has engulfed the whole world, impacting all beyond age, religion, and race. It knows no bounds and does not discriminate over class or social status of people; from royalty to the scums; from parliaments to the street vendors. It is hard to find a positive side to the ongoing global crisis, but let us try to explore the opposite side of this spectrum.
Aren’t we realizing that simple living, having less, being less demanding, having no cravings for consumptions, and living close to nature was always possible? This ancient ancestral instinct was always here with us from the start of life on the face of earth. In the quest to achieve higher standards of comfortable living, we, as human species, became so fixated on industrialization that we forgot the true essence of our existence and ignored the life which existed around us.
Just lay back, breathe in and breathe out! It’s time for earth to breathe, rejuvenate, recharge, and make amends for the damages and disasters to nature, by cleansing and rebooting back to natural processes. We, the commons and the Pharaohs, dictators and so-called designers of destiny, have all fallen victim of something we cannot control despite all available power and riches. The world has been facing an unprecedented situation for the last two years, one for which our world was not prepared. Everything was ‘normal’ a while ago, and mankind was busy inventing a myriad of ways to reign as lords in space. But suddenly, an unseen enemy has forced mankind to halt all ambitious activities. Nature showed us that we are no match against the force of nature.
Synthesizing life to the bottom line makes us realize that life is simple and all what counts is our well-being and general health – immunity, metabolism etc. Personally, COVID-19 has given me a chance to reflect on my actions. I can survive without compulsively shopping and spending lavishly on brands. I realized that these are the luxuries of life and not the necessities. Life is much more than the materialistic desires, and in the end, the one thing which truly matters is my health.
During this pandemic, one ponders on how many nuclear warheads, how many sanctions, how many environmental exploitations, how many racial and ideological wars did the nations of the Earth endure to establish political and economic power bases? This virus has brought life to a simpler equation and proved that all these strategies were never required. This simple fact brings chills down my spine, calculating the infinite resources we have exploited to achieve powers and control. We have trespassed far beyond the limits of seven deadly sins, raising our standards more than the single point of just “live and let others live”.
Bulleh Shah, a renowned Sufi poet of Indian descent, beautifully presented the philosophy of life in this poem:
Ek nukte vich gal mukdi ae
At this one point, all talks end
Hold tight to this point, forget your calculations,
Leave the miserable state of unbelief,
Do not torment yourself with the fear of death and hell,
For these are imaginary fears.
Only into such a house will the truth enter.
At this one point, all talk ends
Always know this, if you go against nature, nature goes against you.
Bio: Sarah Anwar is a graduate student of Journalism at Georgetown University and contributing writer at KAFTAN TV Nigeria. She holds an M.Sc in Psychology, and reports on socio-cultural issues in her home country Pakistan while responding to a variety of psychological discourse from Washington DC, USA.