A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out; this universal saying sounds true. But in this Covid era, even this does not hold the ground practically as was evident in my case.
Even by complying with the preventive measures for being safe during the pandemic, one mistake of getting close to one of my friends, who later tested positive for the covid, ultimately got me into the clutches of this virus. I believe this is a consequence of over-confidence and unwarranted intimacy that lead to unfavorable fortunes. This was, nonetheless, an insightful experience made even more challenging with my better half, my wife, contracting the virus. From this, I mean though the experience and the story we tell about the experience may be two different things as the former warrants focus and commitment whereas the latter may only be superficial, the virus did not only give rise to fear and anxiety but also provided us with an opportunity to feel life more delicately in its subtlest form.
As the great Martin Luther King Jr. once said We must accept finite disappointment but we must never lose infinite hope, I kept telling myself and my wife that this time too will pass in the hopes of gaining and sharing self-confidence to cope with the mental effects of the virus. And trust me, this self-counselling along with the general medication really worked and no serious issues were encountered. Rather, the time, which was ample yet priceless, gave us so many important insight into life as a result of practicing meditation, pranayama, exercise, reading good management books and studying over several study reports of NRB (which was pertinent for me professionally). The period filled with solitude also sparked in me some novel ideas, as we embark on the upcoming fiscal year 2078/’79 for my institution Muktinath Bikas Bank.
Even though most Covid patients get cured through home medication and isolation, the fragility of life is evident from the agonies of those who are severely affected. The situation is further aggravated by deficiencies of essential medical equipment and services that are vital in keeping the virus under control. Now, this may sound pessimistic, but I feel we should always try to keep our mindset in a positive framework without losing sight of the reality of the situation. To explain this, let me provide a simple rule of life: A Thought is followed by an Action, Action repeated makes a Habit, Habits form the Character and sticking to one’s Character defines the Destiny. So, as Lord Krishna says in the Bhagwat Gita, oneness with the self is indeed vital for the richness not only materialistically but also existentially. And this Covid time, to be honest, had given me ample time to experience the oneness with myself: one that focuses on the positive but without ignoring the negatives.
Tying this to what I do professionally, it makes sense to relate this Oneness as a useful tool for being more effective. The oneness signifies integration of the self. And while we know that ethics and integrity are important characteristics in whatever we endeavor to do, this oneness helps transform that idea of being ethical and moral into something that can be practiced. In today’s time where traits Ethics, Values and Integrity have been undermined in order to “succeed”, what I mean is this pandemic has provided me with a realization of the importance of these characteristics. This realization came in a period of isolation and deep contemplation as a result of understanding the oneness within.
Before coming to the end of this writing, let me cite a short yet interesting story of two friends on board in a plane for some business tour. So, whilst on board in a flight, a person who looked on to see his accompanying friend acting tensed and anxious, asked him what was causing this. It was strange to him that the environment that they were in namely, a first-class cabin with all the amenities and service to one’s whim, should be enough to ward all worries and anxieties away. Here, both friends were traveling on a business tour to complete some business tasks. When the friend insisted on knowing the reasons for not being in a good mood, the friend who looked tensed stated the apprehension that they might not have completed a task imperative for achieving a fine result. This conversation between the two friends was noticed by a third person who was also traveling along with them in the same cabin. The conversation in fact gave birth to a thought in the mind of the third person as to what yielded the perplexity and restlessness in most of the people including himself and after much fathoming, the results were perceived to be ‘Fear and Greed’. Let me elaborate further, Fear of losing something gained in the past and Greed for not achieving something that will arrive in the future and in between these two, the very precious present moment is lost resulting in perplexity and anxiety, thus loss of joy for doing something creative at the present moment i.e., ‘Now’.
So, finally I like to summarize and conclude at the last here by again stating the value and power of ‘Now’ which only comes after achieving oneness within oneself as the greatest learning out of the solitude from this isolation period at home with a sincere hope and wish for mankind to get rid of this pandemic soon.