Six weeks of horror, petrification and helplessness. There have been many moments in the last month and a half when the fear of losing one’s life has troubled many I know. At such times, all one prays and hopes is to remain safe and in good health. Nothing else has mattered more. Such fear and insecurity in many cases have revealed a positive side in people while negative emotions, if any, have remained latent. Amid so much death and despair, one tends to forgive, forget, avoid negative thoughts and overlook other small problems and concerns, which seem insignificant.
No sooner than the Covid-19 positivity rate and the number of daily fresh cases of infections fell below a certain threshold, the same people revert to their previous selves. Deceit, jealousy, anger, vengeance, hatred are some of the feelings which are seen to return in no time. So does ego which is accompanied by an exaggerated sense of self-importance.
It is baffling how human emotions can change so quickly. Why do we need to put on our best behaviour in times of distress and promptly withdraw to our dark sides when things get better? When the world around us takes a turn for the better, when the havoc caused by the dreaded virus recedes, shouldn’t we be grateful and use this blessing to think and act positively? In theory, we should. But what is seen in practice is quite a different story. Such is human.
Imagine how much better the world would be if we turned over a new leaf and decided to act in the interest of others, help mankind, especially those who are not so privileged. The first and second wave of Covid-19 pandemic showed us how some individuals have stepped up to render invaluable services to humanity. The deeds and actions of such heroes have saved many lives and touched millions of hearts.
If only such do-gooders could inspire countless others to follow their path or chart out their own journey towards making a positive difference in the lives of others. Doing good is an open canvas. There are so many ways it can be done. It is not restricted only to dealing with the prevention and fall-out of the Coronavirus, though that may be the pressing need of the hour.
Health, education and employment are three core areas where good work can have maximum impact. It is never too late to do good. Life has presented us with yet another chance. If we haven’t done it thus far, we can still do it now, even if that is a small act of assistance. It may not be possible for all to do much, but every small deed makes a big difference. It all adds up to usher in a better world.
This holds true for both individuals and institutions. Institutions can have greater impact given their size, scale and resources, as compared to individuals. A few institutions are known to have gone out of their way for the larger cause of humanity. For instance, making changes in the core production plan to produce a much required medical product, even though that is outside the business plan of the company. This has far-reaching benefits for society as a whole.
Some have taken measures to support the families of deceased employees, while others have vaccinated their employees along with their families. Each and every such measure is welcome and goes a long way in securing the future of the beneficiaries.
Some share their good deeds in public. A few choose to serve anonymously. Both approaches are welcome. Those who wish to act quietly and not publicise their good work are great souls, but their service would have much greater impact if shared with the world. It may inspire others to follow suit. Sometimes, it takes a Borosil to show the way. Yes, few other corporates who followed would have done it anyway. But there could be a few who were inspired to follow Borosil’s path to pay salaries to families of deceased employees for two years. The company has also promised to fund the education of the children of such employees till graduation in India.
The same holds true for individuals. When some individuals are seen to serve society and humanity and the message travels far and wide, it inspires a few others to do the same. Or do similar good work. If only positive deeds could be as infectious as the second wave of Coronavirus, so much good could come out of it. And the world would be a much better place to live in.
In 2000, I found out I had abdominal tuberculosis. My doctor, Col. Arun Kumar, told me the bacteria that causes the disease is present inside most human bodies. It only manifests itself when the body’s immunity falls below a minimum threshold. The lesson learnt was one should protect and preserve one’s immunity at all costs. Similarly, all human beings have the ability to think and do both good and bad. We should, however, ensure that our moral compass does not sink so low that it triggers negative thoughts and action. We have one life. Let’s make the best of it.