By Usman Nadeem
It is the product of hard labor put in us humans over centuries which has created this algorithm of life. An algorithm best defined as a Ferris wheel a hamster runs, an endless loop which never ends under our feet.
This algorithm which creates the utopia of eternal happiness and satisfaction for the ignorant.
In this self-proclaimed pursuit we run mindlessly, even though at times we run out of life yet we keep chasing this utopia till the last breath is drawn out of us.
The norms on the list of fulfilling this algorithm always seems to add on, every new worldly creation, every social trend adds one more want, an endless loop which seems to never stop. Often turning needs into wants and we constantly fail to distinguish between the two.
We run as hard as we can in this pursuit, the Ferris wheel keeps turning under our feet. It never stops and sense never prevails.
Then one day the world wakes up to Covid-19. A prison sentence handed over to the world. Geographical movement’s restricted and social isolation declared to be the only way to hold death at the door. Death which was always an uninvited guest becomes a global pandemic. The scariest concept was that disease multiplied from one person to another. Touch and contact became the ultimate dilemma. Death disguised itself and became invisible. Even the most ignorant of us did not want their loved ones to fall victim of their ignorance.
This raises a thought in my head, a comparison I felt was the need of the hour. As a prison sentence is handed to the culprit but the law makers, the first order of the day is to confine the culprit to a controlled facility. Suddenly freedom is taken away. The Ferris wheel of life under our feet comes to a halt. All the extra needs and wants disappear with only the basic needs to worry about. The standstill makes one reconsider the choices we have made in life which got us behind the bars. All that is left is an inflicted routine with limited choices. Social pressures gone, the race of life and the pursuit of happiness halts on its feet.
Confinement to limited people living in dire conditions similar as yourself becomes the rule to follow. What is offered by the prison officers is what one has to make do with. Choices are taken away.
It is in times like these that one sees even the most vile and evil turn to God! Prayer seems to be the only way of redemption.
That’s when one turns to the Only Supreme Power the Only Force the forgotten and hidden Force that can alone undo what our limited intelligence landed us into or with!! We begin to recognize the Existence which we have forgone whilst living outside confinement, before our choices were taken away.
This pandemic holds the same meaning as a prison sentence does.
We have woken up to the fact that we can survive in a lot less than we thought we could. Life still carries on without its luxuries. The uncertainty makes us question the choices we make in our lives for the first time ever!
It seems like God has pressed a reset button on the world, the direction of our lives and all our logics, arguments and intelligence have gotten us nowhere! Suddenly one choice has become very simple. Be cautious and survive or be callous and die. Our natural instinct to survive makes us ponder a lot less in these two choices.
The most important question here is have we realized this change for good or like every other crisis mankind has faced through time, this crisis will prove to be a temporary change?
Covid-19 is a reality we cannot turn a blind eye to unless a cure is found. These lockdowns may prove to be precautionary yet they amount to no good in my opinion as they are a mere restriction of the spread not a solution. Even if one patient is left the virus will spread unless a cure is found. All these self-originated conspiracy theories that the virus has been unleashed by certain nations may invite further chaos and denial to the crisis mankind face today.
What we fail to consider is that this virus has affected the powerful and the commoner in a similar fashion, as it does not distinguish between poor or wealthy, between strong or weak.
We have seen the wealthiest of Nations come down to their knees.
The economic backdrop of the world is changing rapidly. Unemployment and uncertainty is setting in fast. Even the high and mighty of the world are left pondering what the best way forward is.
In light of this radical change we will have to learn and restructure our way of life. This is a choice even the most ignorant of us will have to wake up to one day. Some will realize this sooner and the rest will face this choice the hard way. But it’s a reality we cannot turn away from.
The time is here to re-consider the core reason of our existence in this world. We have to re-consider our reliance and our trust on this idolized intelligence we thought we possessed.
It will be hard to steer away from what we used to know and believe since we are blinded by this world’s razzmatazz and its glitterati. We’re still allured by its glamour and snares.
Our lives are still truly captives of its norms for the eternal happiness or satisfaction we seek!
We lost our way and are oblivious to the fact that we’re playing trivial pursuit with our lives. We keep treading that path which takes us further and further away from our destiny! The core reason for which we were created.
We forgot that this life was given to us to work tirelessly to labor for another beautiful life. The eternal life. The hereafter.
This is not a pandemic but an awakening. An opportunity to restart.
Reconsider humanity. Reconsider responsibilities our role in our life and in the life of all that are around us. Reconsider our needs and our wants. Reconsider our responsibility to our nation. Reconsider our responsibility towards our loved ones. Reconsider the reason for our existence.
The burning question is are we ready to turn to the Light or still dwell in the abyss of darkness that we’ve woven around us?
One thing is for sure. The change is here whether we would like to embrace it or not.
Usman Nadeem is Managing Editor of Islamabad Telegraph