Corona Reflections # 2: Resurrect Hope!
- Shraddha C. Sankulkar
Its been a month now, that major countries in the world have gone into 'lock down'. The U.S death tolls resulting from the Coronavirus have exceeded Italy & Spain. Though the rise of infection is not radically exponential in India yet, there is an air of gloom being experienced everywhere, while anticipating the near future.
Psychologically speaking, such zoning out into gloom with a feeling of doom first triggers fear and anxiety. The hormone, Adrenaline rushes in and that is when we start feeling our heart beating faster, feeling sweaty at the palms, feeling breathless. When one's survival is at threat, such a reaction is natural to occur. But if for a prolonged time there is no solution and if the 'threat' persists then gradually one starts feeling helpless and eventually hopeless. Its then when Depression cracks in to one's mind!
At this point, if self-help doesn't work, most people, as a coping mechanism', would consciously/sub-consciously fantasize of a 'super hero' or a 'messiah' to rescue and fix their world. Mythology & religious books have many tales that instill belief, that some 'super power' will arrive & fix the world for us. During the past 2 months, people have started watching 'Super Hero' movies like never before. Recently, the National Television service in India, started telecasting episodes of 'Ramayan' and 'Mahabharat' (the ancient mythological epics of India). Though the religious tales from mythology and the act of binge watching 'super hero' fictions, may seem unscientific and baseless, but psychologically speaking it certainly has 'hope' value!
'Hope' is a positive belief while 'Doubt' is a negative belief. Both are 'hypothesis' to begin with. It all depends, which one of these hypothesis acts as a seed for your resulting thoughts and action. If you choose to 'doubt' then you will search for all data from around that confirms your 'doubt' oriented hypothesis and negative belief that- 'things wont' work'. If you have 'hope' then you will find all the data around you that confirms your 'hope' oriented hypothesis and positive belief that- 'things will work'. That's technically called 'self-serving bias' in attribution research of Psychology.
Imagine if, scientist and inventors like Newton, Edison, Einstein, Ramanujan, Bose, Wright Brothers, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs etc, had 'kick started' their research with 'Doubt' and kept doubting their processes then would they have been successful in creating what they have contributed to the world? When you doubt you expect failure and when you have hope you are expecting success. Ofcourse there will be times that inspite of hoping, you may fail. In that case one has to use one's intellect to rectify the reasons of the failure and once the correction is done then 'resurrect' yourself with hope and strike again to search solutions!. The world collectively needs this attitude today to rise out of the gloom of the pandemic.
Besides taking precaution of not contracting the Coronavirus, one has to equally take precaution of not getting mentally 'infected' by 'doubt' and 'negative anxiety' from around you. How can you do that? Well, digitally connect with positive minded people, do not watch same news over and over again, do not believe rumors (confirm the content of the forwarded messages that you read on Social Media or receive on your Whats App), Many times, when one is afraid and doubtful, he/she would want to share that suffocating feeling with others and thus relieve himself/herself of the 'toxic' feeling. Thus impulsively that threatening content is shared to close people. If the receiving end person is mentally strong or 'hopeful' and logical at this mind, then he stops the chain of 'toxic/doubtful' communication, but if the receiver is equally vulnerable, then he/she continues the chain, thus creating an ambiance of doom!
Lastly, irrespective of our religious backgrounds and faith, lets derive inspiration from all the world mythologies that commonly promote the positive spirit of the human mind. Most of the epics & mythologies echo the thought that -'Suffering' will be part and parcel of life, but 'redemption' of that suffering will only come to those who are intellectual and also are hopeful, inspite of adversities. History is witness to the fact that such hopeful souls from the past, have not only 'resurrected' their life, but also have been successful in resurrecting the lives of others who were equally hopeful!
Stay Positive! Stay Hopeful! And 'Happy Easter'!
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