What the coronavirus pandemic has taught me about life
“Homes blooming like gardens, cities deserted, people locked up in their houses. Yet again life proved to be precious, and wealth, inexpensive.”
It doesn’t have quite the same ring in English as it does in Hindi, but the meaning of this quote, which was tweeted by Indian actor Anupam Kher, is the same. Lockdown has put a giant mirror in front us, allowing everyone to realise how fragile, but also how special, life really is.
I’ve learnt to live with the bare minimum, comfortable with what I already have. Lockdown has taught me what is truly valuable in life and what’s a facade. It’s given me an opportunity to slow down in this fast changing world and to appreciate what truly matters: friends, family and the connections I’ve made over the course of my life.
From going through my daily schedule on autopilot to barely having a schedule in my own house, I’m rediscovering myself. And with every passing day, I’m rekindling with my passions, my likes, my interests and, mostly importantly, my desire to live, rather than merely survive.
Understanding what we really want
It’s funny how it takes the entire world coming to a stop for us to realise that maybe, just maybe, we’ve been doing things the wrong way after all. Of course it’s important to put bread on the table, but it’s equally important to keep your heart fed with the things that it really wants.
Maybe it’s that music lesson you’ve been wanting to take since you were 10, but never could find the time for. Or maybe it’s just spending some time with loved ones. The point I’m trying to make here is that even though the world seems like it’s falling apart on the outside, on the inside, it’s been a healing experience for a lot of us. At least, it has been for me.
The importance of time
Many of us have been using this time to do things that we generally wouldn’t, things we’d normally shun with an excuse of not having enough time. But now, time really does feel like an absurd concept, doesn’t it? The truth is, it was never really about time, it was about prioritising.
In a world where instant gratification is the norm and everything is at our fingertips, the virtue of patience seems long lost. We’re bombarded with content on social media and streaming platforms and are constantly stimulated by text messages. Somewhere along the way, we’ve lost our ability to sit still and appreciate what is, rather than what isn’t.
My observation might seem a little harsh, but it’s reflected in everything we do. From that summer body you’ve always longed for to the language you want to be fluent in. We want it all in a moment, we don’t want to wait, because waiting is boring. More importantly, waiting is hard.
So, what can we take away from these hard times? Despite all that has gone on, there have been some positives to the world coming to a stop. It’s forced us to take a step back, think, understand and appreciate what it means to live and not just survive. And that’s something I’m going to try to hold onto for a long time to come.