Jun 26, 2020, 22:02 IST

‘Learning afresh simple life lessons’

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JANINA GOMES admits that the lockdown period combined with a bad fall opened her eyes to the need for widening one’s perspective

Confined to bed for more than two months after a nasty fall, I began to see the whole of my life in perspective. Integrating my past with the present and planning for a richer future, I realised how important it was to expand my horizons, to read and experience more, to act lovingly every moment and to live by my values and principles.

From my vantage point in bed, I began looking at all the positive things I still had going for me and the many things I had to be grateful for. I was not bedridden after my fall. I am still being able to do many things for myself. I have had opportunities in plenty for meeting and working with good people, to read good literature and to reach out to those less fortunate than me.

When I contrast my condition and the discomforts that I have experienced with the plight of the migrant workers, some of whom have had to walk 700 kms, without shoes on hot-tarred roads, just to reach home and family, I feel deeply grateful for what I am blessed with.

To expand one’s consciousness is to move from a state in which one feels indifferent to the plight of others, to a sense that as one human family, we have the responsibility to look after each other.

I have had a whole gamut of experiences that have led me to the belief that life consists of service to the really needy.

We all need to grow personally, but we cannot grow personally without also affecting the lives of the less privileged in some way. Personal growth is all about expanding one’s consciousness and with that comes the motivation and the drive to do something for others.

Similarly, we cannot improve the quality of our lives, without simultaneously improving the quality of life of others. What can we do then, during the current pandemic, to help? Contributing money is one way, volunteering like the medics and paramedics do, is another and spreading awareness is yet another way.

I realise also, the importance of doing something substantial to spread awareness about the environment and the need to preserve it. By deepening my connect with nature, I have also become increasingly aware of how much pressure we as human beings have put on Mother Earth. Covid-19 with its lockdowns has given the Earth some respite to breathe easy. ■


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