The world is hit by a virus. The best of technology and human power is not able to combat this deadly virus. Human lives are being lost every day in thousands around the world due the impact of this virus. What lessons we can learn from this human catastrophe.
I decided that every day I will reflect on one limitation of myself and explore how I can change for the better in the future. Today, I will focus on the innumerable human beings who serve us from morning to night. Do we treat them as humans on equal footing like us or do we still continue to live in our glass houses ?
The outbreak of this virus taught us a lesson that social distancing is applicable for everyone. This virus does not discriminate based on nationality, caste, religion or state you belong to. It randomly impacts people who violate the guidance given by the medical professionals and the government authorities.
On the other hand, we as human continue to discriminate based on caste, religion, social status and nationality. Today let me go through a day in our lives and help us reflect on how many people impact our lives positively sacrificing their own welfare for the societal good.
Our day starts with the morning newspaper boy. He may be working beyond his education hours to earn that extra buck to support his family. We say let us stop the newspaper boy because he may spread the virus. Then the milkman. Imagine the milkman stopping supplies as he is worried about spread of the virus. Our day will begin on a sour note.
We stopped the maids, drivers and Gardners in our community when the lockdown began yesterday. There was a big hue and cry. The members felt that they could not survive without maids for a day. They wanted the maids to sanitise a million times a day but were least concerned about the maids getting impacted by the same virus. We have become so self centred that we want all services possible under the sun but we are least concerned about the health and welfare of maids, drivers and Gardners. As if, they are not human beings like any of us.
We want the sanitary workers to visit us everyday to collect the wet waste. We cannot find an organic way to compost the waste for a few days in a garden or even a pot inside the house. We may get impacted by wet waste inside the house but the sanitary workers are fully immune to all such infections.
Our lives are incomplete without cooks. How can we imagine cooking our own food or cutting our own vegetables ? How does it impact us if cooks are travelling in crowded buses and trains to help us out in our homes. After all it is their duty to serve us and not ours to care for them.
The list can go on. We have our security guards in our campuses who are working 24 x 7. We have municipal employees serving us. We have the utility employees, the police and most important the medical and health workers working round the clock to keep us safe and healthy. What are we doing in return ? In some communities, we are ostracising medical personnel and airlines staff as if they are coming back home only to spread the virus to us. We do not realise that they are putting their lives on the line to serve us day and night.
We as humans have to learn to be grateful to other human beings every day of our lives. No job is menial. No human is high or low. Everyone contributes to the happiness of mankind. We realise only when we pick up the brooms as to how difficult it is to clean the garden in front of our homes. If we put the wet waste in compost bins, we realise how much these workers sacrifice to keep our environs clean.
It is time to look within and change. Let us commit to treat every human being around us as human beings and respect whatever they do and be grateful to them.
S Ramesh Shankar
25th March 2020