The flip side of the coin

26 Mar 2020 / 21:25 H.

PEOPLE are experiencing an unprecedented level of alarm, suspicion, challenges and pain as they struggle with lockdowns worldwide.

Will all these be over in the coming weeks or months or over a year – this remains the most poignant question for everyone.

But we need to embrace a dawning reality. The lockdowns have allowed many good things to rise above the pain and sweep across the planet.

Drastically reduced noise pollution and the ensuing silence is enabling the melodies of nature to be heard. More birds, bees and butterflies are filling the streets, gardens and public parks.

The air smells more of trees and bark and leaves and flowers. Residential areas have become peaceful with little movement of vehicles and people.

As families bond like never before, there seems to be so much more to do in our homes and backyards and to relish, savour and treasure these moments of truth.

There is time to call and connect with distant relatives and forgotten friends and share concerns, information and love.

A new space is blossoming in the hearts and minds and souls of people all across the globe, as we in our own little spaces re-discover the flip side of human existence.

Human suffering of this pandemic scale has opened a new page on the history of human civilisation. How we are going to write that chapter begins right now.

Perhaps, world leaders need to capitalise on this never before experience. Hence, it is time for all of humanity to explore some of the following ideas.

We need to make philosophy a compulsory subject in schools all the way through university for all disciplines: arts, science and social sciences.

Although we had set out on the trail of specialisation producing blinkered humans and benefited from their frontier knowledge, it is time to enable education to give every human a holistic comprehension of existence on a planet that is inextricably glued to a larger cosmos.

Physics, chemistry and biology must be taught to all, right up to university irrespective of one’s choice of specialisation.

We need to learn fast of the symbiotic relationship of the four paradigms of human existence (politics, social, economic and environment) within which civilisation evolves.

We need to bring people of all faiths together and not launch secret missions of conversions all over the world.

We need to take a serious relook at capitalism’s mantra that opens and shuts the world on the hinges of profit and profiteering.

We need to redress our social charter. The fragility of earth is protected by the cosmos.

The bottom line of life is not sustained just around economic panacea, creating millionaires and amassing personal, national and global material wealth.

It is about living in harmony with mother nature. It is about thriving in harmony with planet Earth. It has got to be one of “by design” and not of “through defiance”.

No matter how much we claim to know; no matter how fast we race to find solutions to problems; no matter how great we can be in creating marvels in technology, arts and science, the bottom line is human existence within the framework of the entire cosmology is what ultimately determines quality life on Earth.

Perhaps for starters, it is time to declare a global lockdown anniversary stretching over three days for humanity to be reminded of the virtue of humility, integrity and accountability.

Humans need a universally agreed time and space to review, reflect, redress and move on collectively as a species.

J. D. Lovrenciear


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