WOW | Ed Page

The worst of times unveil the true nature of human beings.

The worst of times unveil the true nature of human beings. The pandemic has taught me to look at things carefully. Among many other things, it has taught me to appreciate more, to be kinder to myself and to others, and to allow things to unfold in its own course.

It has also taught me that leadership is not everyone’s game, that goodness has to be cultivated and practiced, that people do take advantage of vulnerability.

We are a small nation in size, but we always took pride in having the largest hearts. But somewhere in the process of mechanisation and technological advancements, we allowed our collective souls to disengage and become dispassionate.

How otherwise can we explain that our leadership has chosen to fail us time and again, how can corruption be acceptable in such dire times, how can the government watch as people are stripped of livelihoods, how can women and young girls be raped in quarantine, how can injustice prevail where the life of the citizen does not matter. And while the public protests in moments and spurts of agitation, leadership stays silent.

I think about the thousands of people who cross over the borders seeking refuge back home to only realise that they do not really matter. I think about the girl who was raped, her lost childhood… her pain stifled in a justice system that even at its most efficient is slow. I think about the thousands of young minds that now stay behind closed doors, their schools un-open, their education and learning uncertain. I think about those who have lost and are in the process of losing their livelihoods, and their struggle as they try and come to terms with loss, both economic and self worth. I think of those who gave up and took their lives – their hopelessness, their tiredness and their inability to see the light. I think about all the little things we all did but now have to rethink in the new normal.

And yet nature teaches us with every sunrise, the possibility of a better tomorrow. She teaches us to persist and to grow our abilities. She connects to our most innate being in which we find the reservoir of goodness and calm and hope.

Otherwise there would not also be the ones among us who get up every morning with a sense of deep purpose and giving, who take on roles that no one else would and roam the streets and trails to lend a helping hand, to feed, to listen, to care, to cure and to heal.

Maybe we will look at life like we never have. Maybe we will truly appreciate the essence of what it is to be human, and do things that truly matter in the course of time.