It’s been 3 years since I sat down to write a blog. I could not pen down anything, not in the literal sense, of course, but in the digital sense of the term but today I was forced to rekindle my love for writing due to the times we are living in.
Everyone has been writing about the fateful year of 2020, depressing images and stories of loss of livelihood & food and forced marathons by migrant workers as well as about good Samaritans. Some are sanguine enough to be hoping for the world to change dramatically as it has got a lot of time in hand suddenly to rethink about ‘LIFE’ whereas others are learning new skills for a dream job which they could not do earlier due to paucity of time. The world seems to be slapped with one great problem after another at a random pace. There is so much noise that it is difficult to focus on one point in a coherent manner and collect one’s thoughts without dipping into others.
I would try to write on the hopes of people for the world to change for the better without getting digressed by other pressing issues. As Franklin D. Roosevelt quoted,
“We have always held to the hope, the belief, the conviction that there is a better life, a better world, beyond the horizon.”
If I read this quote with respect to the kind of change we are hoping to see in the world, there are different kinds of expectations attached here. I would like to make a list of those expectations which are coming to my mind right now.
- More flexibility to work from home
- The changing International relations between the powers and Global Organisations
- Adaptation to Minimalism and less extravagant lifestyle,
- Respecting the labor of our staff/helps
- Lesser Materialism
In this article, I would focus on the social aspects of the expected changes(Point no 3,4,5) . With the help of narrowing Digital Divide and growth of social media and smartphones, one no longer is dependent on the newspapers or publishing houses to be heard of. This led to various opinions getting circulated from different social classes on what this lock-down has meant for them.
When people, including I, had to do the household chores, we were faced with the pains of managing a house. This helped them(and me) realize how much of an effort, time, labor, care, vigilance goes into being a Housewife, a term replaced recently by “Homemaker” ( to make it sound niche, a topic I would delve into in another article some day soon) and still not receiving an ounce of respect or dignity by most people. This lock-down led to people opening up about how they realized how much hard work a maid does in their homes, whose labor goes unrecognized in terms of respect, if not monetarily. I, personally, have always had some issue with physical labor not being monetarily rewarded even close enough to the mental or intellectual labor. Well, one change people expect here is that they would now respect their maids and staff members more but I feel this is not going to last in the long term. Although I want this to last forever yet the realist in me feels that it won’t. My reasons are confined to the human nature and the kind of world we have constructed for ourselves. Once this lock-down and corona is over, we would be back to our usual lives at least after 2-3 years if not soon enough. We would not have so much time in our hands and once that will happen, we would rely on our maids and staff again and would expect a perfect job done. The feeling of respect will dissipate when we would be busy meeting our deadlines. We would be ‘ourselves’ again.
Once economic and health setbacks would have been dealt with, most of us would forget Minimalism and the talk about less extravagant lifestyle and lesser materialism. Everything will be once again about showing off. We would turn our back on these philosophies and would be back to our usual lives. The reason here, again is about human nature and our necessities. Today we are vouching for these concepts because we have been stripped off our luxury of going to malls or being a jetsetter. Humans want attention and the easiest way to grab eyeballs is by succumbing to the already built system around us. A system, which is our society in this case, one which dwells on Classism. A society that respects the one with a Mercedes over WagonR. A society which respects a woman with a Gucci bag over a woman bargaining over vegetables. A society which automatically accumulates respect for a government official over the one who is his/her driver. A society which gives value to a leather bag over a jute one. A society which considers English speaking ones to be qualified to be respected while others speaking indigenous languages as illiterate or backward. This is proof enough that as a collective, society would not change to adapt to either Minimalism or a less extravagant lifestyle. Corona will be unable to change this society and hence no adaptation to the philosophies of Minimalism and Lesser Materialism would take place as expected and opinionated by some.
I would still hope that a few of these positive lifestyle changes are adopted by individuals for a better world beyond Corona and it would be appreciated if these individuals set an example for others to follow.