I witnessed something amazing today – a billion people came together to celebrate humanity.
Janta Curfew – how does that work?
A clarion call by the Prime Minister – rather, a request to all Indians to observe a self-imposed curfew today, and another request as well – to stand at balconies, terraces, doors and windows at 5 pm – and celebrate our healthcare and sanitation professionals for 5 minutes. Celebrate them, since they are at the forefront of the fight against Corona.
And boy, did we observe the curfew. Roads in India were deserted the whole day, shops were closed, people were indoors. And what happened at 5 pm?
Do see for yourself.
What did I learn from this?
That challenges will always present themselves. What matters is how we respond to them. Humankind is more than just a collection of humans – it is a collective spirit, and that is what was demonstrated today.
When I’ve faced problems, big or small, I have learnt that hope is just round the corner. We just need to see it, embrace it, and believe in it. In an odd way, believing that there is a solution, usually leads to finding one. Hope drives us as a species, and hope is what will help us prevail in this once-in-a-generation fight against a novel disease.
Sādhanā is not just meditation, or concentration, or some sort of mendicant-like behaviour. True sādhanā also calls for involvement, for emotion, for feeling the oneness with fellow humans. Abhyāsā (practice) of compassion and consideration for others, is also a part of the road towards my goal.
Feeling a collective emotion brings one close to one’s own true nature – that of oneness with the greater force of nature, and oneness with our fellow beings.
As the work day nears an end, I feel a sense of dissatisfaction towards the effort that I put in at work – I could have been more efficient and more productive today. But I am not disheartened. That I am aware that I could have done better, is a step forward in itself. I will do better tomorrow.
But today is not lost. Those 5-10 minutes that I witnessed, gave me a lot of hope and happiness. Every day doesn’t have to be one of superior achievement. You just have to find one or two things that make you smile, that touch you, and that make you content. So yes, today is a success. These little bits of happiness are the building blocks to joy, and then to ānandā. You just have to look out for them:)