This Covid-19 situation is bringing a lot of fear in the minds of people. I think that’s due to too much of the information grabbing through news, social media, and even discussion around that. It’s human nature – when we don’t see the end of the tunnel, it always looks scary. We are scared by the depth of the sea and the infiniteness of the universe in the past. As we don’t think about it daily, we are fine with that.
Any crisis that comes in life would teach you. So, respect that teacher and learn. Don’t fear. People become best because of dedication and not by fear. Arjun became the great archer not because of fear but because of his dedication and practice. Any crisis would trigger the survival instinct in us. That’s how our brains are wired. We have also evolved over years and seen lots of difficult situations as a species and reached here, so, in order to survive, we have learned this trick – go in survival mode whenever there is a crisis.
When it is triggered, in Maslow’s hierarchy – we have reached the bottom of the pyramid. Hence, we think about the basic needs – food, shelter, cloth, etc. Once that is satisfied, we urge for safety. And generally, we live in these two stages of the pyramid. Our health workers are getting the respect and are in need because of that. They help us to stay healthy and safe. Similarly, all the people who are producing goods that satisfy our basic needs are considered as a hero.
Does that mean that all other professions would be in jeopardy and would be wiped out? I don’t think so.
- The world would still need the chef who used to cook delicious food and making the people come to the restaurants.
- The world would still need a guide who used to talk about the history of the pyramids and shows us interesting places and stories about it.
- The world would still need that expert jeweler who designed the best necklace for your lover.
- The world would still need the Mozart, Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, etc. whose arts have taken our breath away when we saw or listened to it.
It’s like a cricket match. In cricket when we have a crisis – things change, strategy changes, and also, expectation changes.
Remember the Titan cup in 1996 when Mark Taylor – Australian captain decided to bat first and Indian team was in crisis? We needed 52 runs from 8 overs (48 balls). It was the crisis as our star batsmen were not on the ground – rather we had two bowlers – Anil Kumble and Shrinath on the pitch who were supposed to chase this target with less known skills of batting.
The best thing in the crisis is patience. You play ball by ball – you don’t target that I will score this much per over and we will win. So, strategy changes – it is a survival instinct which says – play each ball and score – this would bring you near the target.
Every expert thought that Australia would win the game as top batsmen of India were into Pavillion and experts had no hope for these bowlers for chasing this score. [So, do we need to listen to experts?]
Mark Taylor – Australian Captain – was looking so happy when this duo was on the pitch… as the match was progressing, over by over – his face became sullen. He tried all his strategies but this duo had one thing – no fear and a strategy to play each ball and try to score. It was a sensible game and partnership we saw from the unknown skills of this duo. Shrinath scored 30 runs out of 23 balls and Kumble scored 16 runs out of 19 balls.
The result of the match was Australia lost the game and India won. (see the match from here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aqqax4PrB8s)
So, what does that teach us?
- A Crisis that comes – would demand different skills from you. Sometimes your primary skills become useless so, always have secondary skills to cope up with this situation. In the case of Kumble and Shrinath – crisis made their balling skills of no use as they need to bat – but they utilized their secondary skills. Same was the case with Arjun in Mahabharat, when all five brothers were in exile and need to stay by hiding identity, Arjun utilized his secondary skills – dancing skills – to teach to princess of the Virat kingdom.
- A crisis is temporary – you need to have patience. If you lose the patience it would make you out of balance. Kumble and Shrinath both knew that they need to bat only for this match. Rest of the matches in future we already have Sachin, Ganguli, Dravid who would take care of it.
- Fear never makes you stronger. So, your best friend is dedication, perseverance and not the fear. If during that match, that duo would have thought about the bowlers of Australia and fearing from them because they were successful in taking the wickets of Sachin and Ganguly – who are amongst the best batsmans in the world, that wouldn’t have helped. So, their dedication and perseverance of not getting out and keep scoring had helped in that crisis.
- Do you need to forget about your primary skills? – No – world would still need your those skills. Once the crisis is over – world would need that. We still needed Kumble and Shrinath to take wickets more than they score runs in future matches.
- A change is painful and it demands you to adjust for timebeing. A crisis demands change. And change is painful. But if we figure out and start adapting to that, it helps to pass the crisis in better way. A person selling the furniture won’t get customers as householders but he needs to adjust his channel to selling it to the current need – setting up for the hospitals, labs, etc. Similarly, a person who is working in travel business needs to change his course of action to sell the services – sometimes in similar industry. We saw that hospitality industry adapted to the demand of patients and changed their focus from travellers to health workers, patients, etc.
- Will there be permanent changes and no one would go out and whole world will be digital? No… this is a temporary change. Once things would be normal (may be in a year or so) we would still need non-digital infrastructure. Definitely, there would be larger share of digital channel but physical channels and physical world will still be there.
- Are we going in dark age as economy is bleeding? – No… During lockdown – you may have managed to eat with simple food initially, but post few days, I am sure we started experimenting with our food and to make it delicious with available resources. It’s the human nature – once we have enjoyed the specific facility or luxury – we always strive to achieve that when things are normal. Even post World War II – we didn’t go back to the era of 18th century, rather we prospered a lot post that. We saw lots of innovations, processes to curb such situation as world war, and lots of international collaborated bodies to make world better.
I am hopeful that this crisis will end soon. It’s our fighting spirit and our constant urge to adapt to the environment has made our humankind to survive on earth.
- It’s good that this Covid-19 happend now and not in monsoon,
- It happened when we had a good rain last year and not at time of the drought,
- It happend when we have the advanced communication technology to inform each other and nations,
- It happend when AI winter was already over so, it helps us to find solution quicker, and
- It happend in our lifetime so, we would learn from it and would yearn to see the world more rather than just getting busy on our smartphone.
I am sure post this, we would appreciate our mother earth for what it has given us in terms of natural resources to survive and beautiful places to visit.
So, let’s overcome our fear and work hard to make it end. Let’s harness our secondary skills, develop dedication to work we do, and teach our children about being ready to cope with crisis in life.
Fear comes from uncertainty about future, if you accept the current condition, stop thinking about future, and living each day to accomplish your daily goal – it would overcome lots of worries.
So, let’s live one day at a time as this too shall pass 🙂