Pandemic’20: A Compassion Crisis by Rajni Agarwal

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The pandemic which is a global health crisis has many perspectives and depends on which hat you choose to wear. If you have not used this extended lockdown time to introspect and analyze your life and the world around you, you are “Vimoodha”, not just a fool, but a colossal one.

I call it a colossal compassion crisis. The reason being that we humans have endlessly and ruthlessly, exploited natural environmental resources, animals and each other to the point where our actions have boomeranged on us, it’s also the law of nature or call it Karma theory, as you sow, so shall you reap.

We have brought upon ourselves our own misfortunes. Now Nature has pushed us back from all spheres of life where we were engaged with, work entertainment, education and more, so that Nature and animals can get a breather and reclaim their lost, encroached upon spaces.

Collective Actions Brought Forth The Crisis

Many people are still in bewilderment about why the pandemic? Please see how the collective actions of the masses have brought forth this crisis and examine your actions, your choices, how good or bad they are for you and the world in general.

I also feel that the Pandemic has brought upon The Bliss of Solitude. This global holiday is when the planet is healing and so are we. All our usual avenues of distraction are shut from movie halls to coffee shops and restaurants so we may focus on that which is truly “essential”. Social distancing is important so we can be in our own mind space and go deeper.

This is the time we have realized the importance of household chores and domestic help, family time, cooking, eating together and playing board games. Also revisiting the great epic serials like ‘Mahabharat’. In this undistracted time, we can grow and develop many aspects of our lives that earlier we felt we couldn’t do due to lack of time.

Connected To World Stages

The pandemic has literally brought the world services to your home, and most of them for free. I have enjoyed watching live and recorded wildlife safaris of Kruger National Park, South Africa which are available on YouTube as Wild Earth. Also have seen some amazing Shakespeare plays like Hamlet, of the prestigious Globe Theatre, London. National theatre, DC showed classics like ‘Jane Eyre’ and Cirque de Solie, best of world performances. The Metropolitan Opera, New York, is such a majestic place and I have seen many a Italian Opera with subtitles. It has been a joy and treat to see all these grand shows and performances, which would cost a bomb and I would perhaps not afford in normal times. I also believe many of the world museums and art galleries are open to free virtual tours. Everyone must enjoy these experiences which are once in a lifetime and the gift of the pandemic.

The Up-Side

Also there are plenty of learning seminars, webinars available on zoom and Instagram where one can sharpen their skills of cooking, baking, painting, gardening nature, health and nutrition to name a few. This is the time to experiment with life and your ideas, many new ventures and adventures await those who are interested to learn and are not lazy.

Another great boon of the pandemic is that water and air quality has improved tremendously.  It’s a great time to start running, cycling and bird, animal watching. I have spotted peacocks, snakes, mongoose, owl and snails on my solitary walks.

Those who feel bored or depressed are being self centred and lazy. If you can get involved in sharpening your skills, learning new things, helping out at home and in social projects you will feel so useful, joyful, energized and high in self-esteem that there will be no time to despair, gossip or feel low, bored.

Re-aligning Priorities

We have formed such addictive habits of food, TV, chatting, social media that we always feel that others have glamorous and interesting lives, we don’t focus on our own needs and lives.

There is a whole world of wonderful things waiting to be learnt and discovered. I have started to do pranayam which I always wanted to do and it is a great practice that I look forward to each morning with some classical ragas or Buddhist chants. I have become regular with my walks. I have learnt and practice chakra balancing which is an alternate form of therapy. I enjoy watching YouTube channels of vegan foods and Mostly Sane, a hilarious channel by Prajakta Koli. I have also enjoyed experimenting with many new food items like tepache and baos in the kitchen. I have also started my own small food enterprise, I make vegan food and it’s available to pre-order.

Some of my friends’ children have also started baking and selling cupcakes. The money you earn you can donate to social causes which you are passionate about. Peepal Farm by Robin Singh is doing great work for animal welfare in Himachal Pradesh.

Life Has Pressed A Refresh Button

For me life has pressed a refresh button and the pandemic is a lesson to slow down, restart, reflect and mostly a lesson in kindness. Our selfish, egoistic mode of functioning will bring our doom, this is a warning bell from nature. Unless we cooperate and coexist with empathy, gratitude and work in a spirit of service we shall not be redeemed. Our life is a great opportunity to showcase our talents and offer them to society.

Best way to feel joyful and motivated is to follow a routine. Early to bed and to rise does make one healthy, wealthy and wise. Exercise, eat well and learn new things. Make yourself useful at home and in society. You will soon be counting your blessings and never be bored or depressed.

Let us wake up with this clarion call of the pandemic and make our lives worthy.

by Rajni Agarwal

Mental Health professional, a Spiritualist and a Vegan by choice. Lover of all things quirky. Believes if you are not living on the edge, you are wasting space😀 Advice to all: Be kind, one of a kind.


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Compassion India Magazine

Compassion India Magazine

Compassion India is India’s official first ever vegan print publication. It aims is to bring the vegan community closer and create awareness about the ethical and health advantages of following this lifestyle. The magazine was launched on 1t November 2019, which was World Vegan Day.

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