In a post-Covid 19 world, we must live in harmony with the planet

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Photograph: Eric Thoo

JD Lovrenciear shares his thoughts on how we can change the world for the better once this crisis is over.

Economists, businesses and their hired analysts are out warning of collapsing businesses that will bring untold suffering. Governments are scrambling with all kinds of financial and social balms to help those who are struggling.

People around the world are experiencing an unprecedented level of alarm, suspicion, challenges and accompanying pain (thanks to the latest communication technology and media input) as they try to cope with lockdowns and restricted movement.

Will all these be over in the next coming weeks or months or even a year? This is the crucial question on most people’s minds.

But we need also to embrace a dawning reality in the midst of this storm. The lockdowns and restricted movements around the world have allowed many good things to emerge.

Drastically reduced noise pollution and the ensuing silence enables us to hear the melodies of nature.

More birds, bees and butterflies are filling the streets and gardens and public parks.

The air smells more of trees and barks and leaves and flowers – even around the modern concrete barracks and Towers of Babel we call home.

Residential areas have become peaceful with hardly any movement of vehicles and people on the roads in front of our homes.

As families bond like never before 24 hours a day, we find so much more to do in our homes and backyards. Many of us are treasuring these moments at home.

We have more time to call and connect with distant relatives and forgotten friends, to share concerns, information and love.

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A new space is blossoming in the hearts and minds and souls of people all across the globe, as we in our own little spaces rediscover the flip side of human existence.

The human suffering arising from this pandemic scale has opened a new chapter in the history of human civilisation. How we are going to write it begins right now.

Perhaps, world leaders need to capitalise on this unprecedented experience.

Hence, it is time for all of humanity to explore some of the following ideas.

We need to make philosophy a compulsory subject in schools all the way through universities for all disciplines, ie arts, science and social sciences.

In the past, we encouraged people to become specialists in their respective field so that we could benefit from their specialised knowledge. But that had the side effect of producing blinkered human beings.

It is now time to provide every human being a holistic comprehension of the meaning of human existence in a planet that is inextricably glued to a larger cosmos. Basic physics, chemistry and biology must be taught to all irrespective of one’s choice of specialisation later in life.

We need to learn fast the symbiotic relationship in the four dimensions of human existence (politics, social, economic and ecological) within which civilisation evolves.

We need to bring people of all faiths together.

We need to take a serious relook at the post-World War Two mantra of capitalism that is obsessed with profits and profiteering.

We need to redress our social charter. The fragility of earth is protected by the cosmos, and we human beings cannot withstand the punishment for any transgression.

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Life cannot be sustained through economic systems, especially those that create billionaires and large entities that amass excessive personal, national and global material wealth.

Instead, life is about living in harmony with nature. It is about thriving in harmony with the planet. We have to live ‘by design’ and not ‘through defiance’.

No matter how much we claim to know; no matter how fast we race to find solutions to problems; no matter how great we are in creating marvels of technology, arts and science – ultimately, human existence lies within the framework of the entire cosmology and this is what will determine the quality life on earth.

Perhaps it is time to declare a global lockdown anniversary, stretching over three days for humanity to be reminded of the virtues of humility, integrity, accountability and simplicity and sustainability. We human beings need a universally agreed time and space to review, reflect, redress and move on collectively as a species.

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