Moth: “I gave you my life.”
Flame: “I allowed you to kiss me.” ~ Hazrat Inayat Khan
There is always going to be suffering. It’s how you look at your suffering, how you deal with it, that will define you.
~ Mark Twain
We might sit in the privileged sector of the world looking aghast at the human cost of the pandemic. Is our life worth more than a single one of theirs? How can we and how do we deal with the harrowing realities of human tragedy unfolding across India?
Blogger AussieEssays made the point that “many people today only imagine suffering as they have never truly experienced it and instead borrow the suffering of others to validate themselves. They punch holes in the air and scream in the wind as they follow a cause that simply doesn’t impact on their comfortable lives as they tell themselves that they have made a difference when they in reality have done little of any importance.“
Does feeling temporarily shocked and appalled help anyone?
Does paying lip service assist us to process a tragedy on the scale of India’s Covid 19 pandemic and allow us to continue with our daily tasks at work; eating our cheese sandwich and speaking with friends or other mundane activities, so that our conscience runs clear and we might continue functioning productively?
John Fowles has some sobering words for us:
“The human race is unimportant. It is the self that must not be betrayed.”
“I suppose one could say that Hitler didn’t betray his self.”
“You are right. He did not. But millions of Germans did betray their selves. That was the tragedy. Not that one man had the courage to be evil, but that millions had not the courage to be good.”― John Fowles, The Magus
In the face of tragic circumstances be prepared to:
- Allow feelings of grief and shock
- Examine what can be learnt from the situation to better existence for all
- Think about what each one of us can do with that information
- Be proactive and follow through as your situation allows (ie. don’t be an armchair whiner)
I think Confucious has the final word:
“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps”~Confucius