Till a couple of months ago, many might have planned a vacation to attend the wedding of a relative. Many might have planned their summer holidays with children and even booked tickets. Who would have thought of being compulsorily locked up at home? It sounded incredible when we were told to remain indoors for as long as three weeks. The world came crashing down before us, and we started wondering what to do next.

Is it ‘solitary confinement’ or ‘isolation’? Spending the initial days of the lockdown was difficult for most of us as our movements were restricted. However, the days passed by spending time with children, watching movies on TV, trying out new recipes, reading books or playing indoor games. However, this also resulted in boredom and we started feeling a void for not being able to work, meeting friends or going out for a jog.

How does one overcome this thought and spend time fruitfully without losing enthusiasm? Instead of thinking aloud, what we need to do is to shift our focus to what makes us happy or what we are thankful for and train our minds to think positively all the time. This will prevent over-emphasis on negative thoughts that eventually rob us of mental peace.Rarely do we get a chance to keep ourselves in solitude and this is the best time to reflect in a positive way.

Hustle today to enjoy tomorrow, then when tomorrow comes, hustle to enjoy the next day. We are often bogged down with office work or business routine to the extent that we completely miss out enjoying the nuances of life. We are in the habit of running behind a number of pseudo passions and crave for success and in the process, ignore the niceties of day-to-day life.

What we miss out may be inconsequential for our business success, but it does matter a lot for those who form part of our family. Have we ever spent quality time listening to the thoughts of our children, cooking a favourite dish for the family, and talking to our elders with affection and care or discussing future plans with family members? No, because, we hardly devote time for such things as we always think we are born to compete with others to achieve some benchmark or the other.

This is the god-send opportunity to set at rest our pseudo passions and spend time in a qualitative manner that will bring abundant pleasure to our near and dear ones. We begin life with ambition and passion. But over a period of time, the routine takes over and we tend to forget things that were dear to us once upon a time. The lockdown has helped us revive our forgotten hobbies and passions much to our delight. It may be reading comics or writing articles or drawing pictures or humming a song.

This has not only refreshed our thoughts of yesteryear but brought about charm and warmth in our minds. It has been said that creativity of a person grows manifold when he or she is routinely involved in pursuing some hobby and this solitude has come in handy for us to reinvent this for the good. The lockdown has made us reflect on the many assumptions that we hold close to our hearts. It has brought individuals from across the planet, irrespective of status, wealth, age or citizenship, to come together with a common purpose.

This break has taught us to evolve, upgrade and accept the realities of life with a high degree of resilience. All these days, we have been thinking of our existence. But having seen the plight of those across the globe who run for their life and safety, we started to appreciate the value of ‘coexistence’. Society is not complete unless every human being begins to appreciate the value of one another and believe in coexistence.

The habit of ‘wanting’ everything is set to undergo a sea change in the coming days as we have caught up with the thought of distinguishing our ‘wants’ from ‘needs’. The orientation towards needs rather than wants, is now uppermost in our minds. We have often read ‘there is no Wi-Fi in the forest, but I promise you will find a better connection’. This lockdown has established one major truth that ‘nature is immortal’ and it is time the human race accepted this truth.

We get too caught up with the triviality of this material world and forget nature completely. The more we strengthen our bond with Mother Nature, we feel less stressful and relaxed. The lockdown has provided us with ample time to enjoy nature in great measure. The majesty of the moon, the twinkling of the stars, the sweetness of the sounds of birds and the beauty of flowers are often seen in films.

We have enjoyed every bit of the greatness of Mother Nature during the lockdown. It is exciting to see how nature ~ trees, flowers and grass ~ grows in silence. It is amazing to watch how the stars, sun and moon move in silence. Yes, we need silence to be able to touch the souls and Mother Nature provides it perfectly. This is the time to introspect on connecting with nature. It is time for people across the globe to realise that unity is strength.

Despite the achievements in many fields, be it science, technology, medicine or engineering, the fact remains that differences between nations persist in the midst of competition. This lockdown has made us realise that countries across the world have to work together forgetting the differences and setting aside prejudice so as to achieve peace and live together as one human race.

The must happen regardless of gender, religion or ethnicity. We all belong to the same race and that is the race of humanity and what affects and weakens one human being, affects and weakens all of us. The need to complement each other is well understood in these trying circumstances and it is good to see countries extending a helping hand. Thus, the lockdown has offered us an opportunity to learn and unlearn certain things and thus get reintroduced to ourselves with a different perspective.

This period has offered us space for growth, resilience and reformation in our mind and thoughts. At the end of the day, we will emerge as a new persona rebuilding our identity and adopting new practices and habits. The break has enabled us to build resilience to cope and turn moments of anxiety and despair into one of hope and perseverance.

The thought of being together has blossomed in our minds and it is up to us to adapt to positive and lateral thinking. It is apt to quote here the Roman philosopher Seneca who said, “We are waves from the same sea, leaves from the same tree, and flowers of the same garden”, and that must always be in our mind now and forever.

(The writer is with the Eastern Institute for Integrated Learning in Management, Kolkata. Views are personal)