It’s painful to see the divide amongst the countries in the world.
Last year was supposed to be our reset, our chance to show true compassion and show that we care. But we still have a divide between us around the world.
- A divide between people who are healthy and safe vs people who got impacted by Covid-19. Those who got the vaccine and those who cannot or don’t have the option to get the vaccine.
- A divide between countries who are able to provide vaccines to their citizens vs countries that are struggling.
There isn’t anyone in this world who hasn’t in one way or the other felt the pain, the struggle, the fight against the pandemic. Whether it was someone in your family or your friends or your relatives or your neighbors.
This has touched all of our lives, whether we like it or not. But we still have a divide. This was supposed to bring us all together, to show us that we are all the same: Human beings. It didn’t matter whether you were rich or poor, whether you had a house or not, whether you had a million followers on social media, you could be the one that got Covid-19.
It showed us to be vulnerable and it showed humanness. It brought us all together and gave us a level playing field. This was our chance to show that we are better as human beings. We care about each other, no matter where you are in the world. I always took pride in being a global citizen, but I am not sure anymore.
Health and Safety: The Pandemic
There’s still a divide. Now the divide is between those who are vaccinated and those who are not. Not because they don’t want to be vaccinated but they just don’t have the option.
When I have a conversation with folks around the world, I struggle to even bring it up. Because I feel like I am now saying I’m better because I am getting vaccinated: just because I was lucky to be here in the US. At this moment in time, I could have been anywhere in the world. And I could have been in any of those countries that are struggling today.
And I actually was in India last year. Right when the pandemic hit in March, and India went on complete lockdown.
I was visiting my parents. And little did I know, that I was going to be stranded in India for two and a half months. Don’t get me wrong. I had peaceful time for self reflection and enjoyed those two and a half months with my parents. I think I got to know them much more than I ever did in my entire life. We had been constantly busy all our lives. We finally had the time to slow down and catch up.
But I was scared. The TV news and social media brought the worst fear in me. I was the international person, the outsider, who could have been the reason why the pandemic hit in India. The news did their best in public shaming. I was scared to step outside my home. I was scared: what if I had COVID and my parents are in the high risk category. I felt helpless.
The only time I stepped out of my home was to catch the 36hour train to get to Delhi. And then the 16hour flight to the US, because this is my home.
I am fortunate. I am safe and healthy. I am blessed.
Compassion and Loving Kindness: Be Humane
I was chatting with my sister yesterday. I could see she was in pain. Because the divide that we have in India right now is not about the pandemic. It’s about
- how the healthcare system is broken (Hindustan Times | Bloomberg)
- how privatization has taken to the extreme end of the pendulum: Patent vs COVID vaccines to save lives (Infojustice | Asean post | Forbes: Entrepreneur’s quest to Fix Drug Patent and Save Lives)
- how data is hidden to protect a government, where its the government’s responsibility to protect the people (CJR | Firstpost)
And how we stopped valuing each other as human beings. No one is better than the other. It’s only the circumstances that we cultivate and nurture. We need to remember our insignificance, just like the hurricane or earthquake that can take us down any day.
She’s a true journalist at heart. And she cannot just see the injustice and be okay with it. Even though she is my younger sister, she always has been the wiser one, always standing up for herself and for others. She always challenged the status quo.
I probably did the opposite. I couldn’t bear the pain and the struggles. With all the fear in the news, it was disappointing and frustrating. I didn’t like the world as it is today, so I decided to create my own new world, a world of hope and happiness. And so I stopped watching the news. I stopped social media because there was nothing good in it, it only added to the problem.
I truly believe in my purpose in life: to bring compassion and loving kindness to the world.
But then she was right.
- We need to use the anger for good for once
- We need to use the platform to change minds
If we all stay quiet, then we are the problem. Because we are okay with the status quo. We are okay with the system being the way it is.
We are okay with Less humanness because someone decided that Saving lives is not more important than a patent. How is that justice? How could someone sleep at night knowing that this is what their decision has led to?
I don’t have the answers. And I’m not the one to solve all of those problems. But I hope someone out there is waking up this morning and saying I’m going to be the solution, not the problem. Every single one of us can make a difference in our own way.
And yes, it’s my fear of the unknown. I’m afraid. But at the same time, I have an opportunity to be the voice for the unspoken.
So here I am. Sharing my thoughts with all of you. Hoping and praying for a positive outcome.
Practicing mindfulness for the world to be one.
May you be happy, may you be healthy, may you be free from suffering.
Just like Dr. James R. Doty shared in the book,Into the magic shop about Ruth’s tricks. We need to learn to believe in the positive outcome.
You can get anything you want.
I want to see a fair and just system. Where humans are treated as humans. Or actually better than humans. Because the way we are treating each other is not humane at all.
Pain is the seed of compassion
Yes, it’s painful. We started last year saying we are all in this together, but it doesn’t feel like that any more.
And as much as I can see the pain and frustration in my sister’s words yesterday in our chat. I wish I could ease her pain. But for today, I plead to all of you. To show some compassion. Not a lot, just a little. And I’m sure this world will be a much better place.
Doyou remember this song? I learned this song in English class in seventh grade. Our teacher played the song on the tape recorder(yes, it is the thing of the past), and we had to listen to the words and write it down. Listening skills at its best 🙂
Thank you! To those who care. To those who want to make a difference.
Because it’s people like you and I that are going to be the change that we want to see in this world.
And of course, it’s a butterfly effect: a small change can take down systems that have been here forever. And it’s time for us to open our minds and hearts to something beyond each of us.