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The physical impact of Covid-19 has endangered not only the lives of human beings but also adversely hit the economy. Above all, it has taught us some important and eternal aspects of life. It has forced to change the flow of life both in terms of direction and speed and to many of us, it has come to a halt. History says that whenever we had to adopt a new thing the change never happened overnight. Our mind was not ready to accept the change all of a sudden because it was not prepared to mould instantly. So, we face difficulty and blame the incident as a cause of our discomfort. The advent of Coronavirus has made our life miserable.
During the pandemic of Covid-19, as a safety measure, we need to follow the rules of social distancing, enhance immunity, use of masks, etc. All these have added discomfort to our normal lifestyle. Physical distancing is imposed and travel is restricted now. When we are really distant in mind, then is this physical distancing matter to us? In the rat race to achieve our materialistic desires, we have ignored our relationships. As a result, bonding in relationships has become weak and, in many cases, broke down. We have suffered inside but still, we are reluctant to heal and running in a restless way. In the process of fulfilling our ambitions driven by factors like jealousy, ego, revenge, competition, etc., the ailing restless mind has become lonely even being in a crowded city. Gradually the sufferings have made the mind weak and now it is at a critical stage. Mental strength has become so low that we easily get affected by the surrounding negativity. Depression has become a very common problem. It has adversely affected our physical health too. Today most of our physical disorders are linked to mental health. We forgot that mental strength is the driving force of our life. This pandemic makes us realise that mental health plays an important role even in maintaining our immunity power. We might be consuming nutritional food but our mental state plays a significant role in functioning the metabolism process in our body.
In this context, we need to look at ourselves in a value mirror to what extent our characteristics resemble our identity as a human being. Are we really possessing the virtues like love, kindness, loyalty, faith, etc. to honour ourselves as a human being? Where are we heading? Today we are in a rat race to fulfil our desires. Even after achieving those materialistic targets, how much are we really satisfied and happy?
Innocent selfless nature among children makes the children happy as well as their purity in mind makes others also happy. Overtime when we grow up, we tend to lose our innocent nature and inner beauty as vices enter our mind. Gradually we act in a selfish way and forget that my happiness does not depend only on my situation, my surrounding members, my relatives, friends are also an important part of it. With the progress which we called ‘development’, we have gradually become more individualistic, forgetting our existence as a social being. With technological up-gradation, we are easily connected to the other parts of the world and our physical enrichment has also expanded. But at the same time, we have narrowed down the boundary of our family and thus gradually we moved to the concept of the nuclear family. With the increase in physical reach, our bonding in relationships has become weak. We made ourselves busy in achieving materialistic goals and our lifestyle became more mechanical instead of social. Even being in a thickly populated city we became isolated from others.
To save ourselves we need to look back seriously to our identity as a social being. Is our ethical value system, attitude towards social welfare, strength in the relationship in a social atmosphere, etc. still up to the mark to consider ourselves as a human being? By adopting technological advancement in our lifestyle, we became modern. But simultaneously our mental stability has gone down. Gradually over time, we fail to recognise that happiness lies in giving. Humiliation, disregard, jealousy, hatred, greed and other vices are the real virus which are killing our inner values. These viruses are the silent killer and gradually destroy humanity. As a result, the whole of mankind is suffering. Disorder in both physical and mental health is the obvious outcome of that.
To keep ourselves healthy we should remember that ‘Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’ (World Health Organisation). In the name of ‘modern’ we if we degrade our ethical value system and adopt a more unfriendly individualistic approach instead of being social, then we shall not be able to maintain our complete health. Thus, to protect ourselves the need of the hour demands awakening of our inner consciousness by injecting the ethical-moral values for each individual. This, in turn, will help to create and protect our potential human capital. The battle for Covid -19 has taught us a lesson that to reap the benefit of modernisation and to live a happy life a healthy lifestyle needs to be adopted where physical, mental and social wellbeing will be well maintained.
Article contributed by; Dr Suparna Pal (PhD in Economics) is a researcher in Health Economics. She follows spirituality in her lifestyle and is passionate about teaching meditation & counseling to people. She regularly writes on spirituality and self-help in many international magazines