It is All Dark Outside, I Hope I can Show You Some Light
In my lifetime, I have never seen the world in such a terrible state as it is now. Pessimism is the default state of humanity today. You and I hold the power to change it all.
In the 21st century, humans will face a scale of challenges that our civilization has never faced before. Our problems have never been bigger and more daunting.
However, today, none of that matters. All that we care about today, is just one threat — the pandemic. In particular, I want to write to my friends in India. Yes, it is a grim situation out there. Our country is touching new records for cases every day, while our medical supplies have never been this low. Our doctors and our countrymen are tired and exhausted and yet the virus is raging on. All this while, our country is very heavily divided and there is little that we can all agree on.
Through all this turmoil, I would like you to give me 3 minutes of your time, 3 minutes for me to share what is getting me through all this.
The Human Collective
Never before in our lives has the most important thing governing all our lives been the same. Right now, this pandemic is the most important thing that is dictating everything in our lives. Two years ago, I was worried about X and you were worried about Y, today, we are all worried about just one thing. Never before, have so many people been concerned about the same thing in life.
As I see it, this could be our opportunity to unite together. An opportunity to create a bond between the people of this world that allows us to solve all the problems that we will face collectively in the 21st century. We could finally create a platform from which we can challenge all the other big problems that humanity will soon face.
In the end, this Pandemic could be the beginning of us creating the best possible version of human civilization.
Masterpieces are often born in rubble and this is our chance to build our collective masterpiece.
Very often we hear people around us complain that they suffer from a lack of time. Here is something important, the number of hours in a day is probably the only asset that we all share equally. Bill Gates and I have no asset in common but this is the one thing where he and I are equal. The difference is, he has learned to make the most out of this asset class and you and I haven't as much.
Ultimately, this lack of time boils down to just priorities. If something is a priority for us then more often than not, we will find time for it. But, let me give you that benefit of the doubt and assume that you were indeed hard-pressed for time.
Well, this pandemic, just created so much more time in our lives. We no longer need to be tuck in traffic, we no longer have to wait for our meals in a restaurant, or in a line at the ATM, or thousands of other things. What this boils down to is extra hours in the day, literally out of thin air. If there is anything that you've ever wanted to do but didn't have the time for it, well, guess what, now you do. So go learn that instrument that you wanted to learn, read that book that is lying on your table, gain that skill that will help you get ahead at work, call that friend who is a long-overdue chat, or simply just take a step back and relax. Whatever it is, you today have time like never before. If you still cannot do it, then the problem was never the lack of time, it was the lack of desire.
When all of this over and you look back at all of the hardships that the last year and a half has been, the most common regret around the world will be not using this time wisely. Don't be one of those people. Use it to create that world that you wish to build for yourself.
Family and Friends
Are you feeling anxious? Are you feeling scared? Is there a gut in your stomach that simply won't go away? Are you worried about a million things that you simply cannot control?
Well here is the thing, so do I and so does everyone else around you. I cannot make that gut in my own stomach go away. But I realized something mind-boggling — I can do that for someone around me.
Yesterday, my aunt was losing her composure. I could literally see her mind running in a million directions, worrying about all those troublesome scenarios. Mine was doing the same. I realized something insane at that moment. I couldn't calm myself but I could calm her and in the process, she would calm me down. I could fake my own composure and in the process, help her find her own.
If all of us can find the strength to support just one person around us, then all of us will find the strength to get through this pandemic. We don't have to support our own selves, we have to support those around us and in the process, we will all find a way to stand tall together.
The Solution is Way too Simple
Look at the beauty of this universe, it gave us a challenge that none of us were prepared for. A challenge that was bigger than anything we have ever collectively faced. And yet, the most important basic solution is freaking simple. All it requires is a mask and to stay in our own homes. The greatest challenge that our civilization has faced in our lifetimes just requires us to cover our faces.
That is it. It is that simple.
If we can't really do this, then can we expect to solve the big problems of the 21st century? I would argue not.
So, do the hard thing — solve this problem by doing the simplest thing — wear a mask and stay home.
I know it is probably not easy for everyone to be able to find hope right now. If you or a loved one around you is suffering from the disease then the world would seem pretty grim right now. However, while it may all seem pretty dark at the moment, I want you to remember that this too shall pass. One day, sooner rather than later, you will beat this challenge and when that happens you will find yourself a much stronger and wiser individual.
When that day comes, I hope you can remember the lessons that this phase of our life has taught us. Today, it may seem like too distant a dream but one day, so will this pandemic.
In the meanwhile, all of us — the ones suffering, the ones scared, the ones worried, and the ones anxious — all of us would do just a little better if we can find a reason to feel more hopeful, a reason to smile. I hope through all this mess, I have given you a small opportunity to do so.