Snow White’s stepmother, the wicked queen, asks the magic mirror, “Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of all?” The mirror confirms that she is the fairest of all.
One day the answer is different. The mirror replies, “ There is a maiden fairer than you. Her name is Snow White.”
Corona Virus is that Magic Mirror.
Before it entered our lives, we thought we had cracked it all – our lifestyle, our relationships, our politics, and our success. We had almost all of these things under control. We took calculated steps, networked with those who looked and felt like us, agreed with views that did not make us uncomfortable, and wanted to be a winner in the eyes of others. We hogged more resources than we needed, we were unmindful of how we treated truth and rarely checked on how others less fortunate than we were coping. The royal family and their antics got more attention from us than the little girl in Idlib, who had never known anything except war in her short life. Our social media persona was often at cross purposes with who we actually were. We exercised our freedom to be friendly on Facebook, annoyed in twitter, glamorous on Instagram, and professional on Linked In.
I may be stretching reality, I admit. Some amongst us do emote, empathise, and act. And some others are more aligned to their inner selves. But you will agree that in a world where time has been a premium, being self-aware and other-centered has become a rare commodity.
When the C Virus descended upon us, cinemas and pubs closed. Sports events and travel spots shut down. Schools and places of worship were padlocked. The virus reinstated balance into our lives by gently prising the things that we hold precious from our grasp.
Unfortunately, the virus will first claim the health and lives of the ill, the old, and the poor. It will touch people who do not even have passports and resources. A foreign virus will enter their complex, deprived lives even though they can never dream of traveling on a cruise ship or an airplane.
But you may ask… we, too, have lost control over our time, our space, and our individuality. That we all are caught up searching for toilet rolls and long-life milk. We experience forced shutdowns of our spas, cafes, and other comforts, as we wonder how to distract ourselves.
But let us stop and reflect.
Maybe, when we received a hug in the past, we did not have the time to stop and pay attention. Now we crave for a simple human touch.
When we scrambled and took over space from a weaker, meeker person, we did not seem to care for anything but ourselves.
Now we are stuck within our personal spaces, living with our muddled thoughts, and trying to control the demon that is ready to unleash itself within us.
We wonder when this madness is going to end? We yearn to go back to our Friday happy hours, Saturday barbeques, Sunday congregations, and weekday work and school. The before and after Corona!
We have the opportunity now to unlearn what we know and relearn what is needed. After all, waves of this virus will occupy our psyche and our space for a long while.
We can let go of what we cannot control, share what we can, and be patient with ourselves and others.
Even if socially distant from others, we can still stay emotionally connected
When we self-isolate or quarantine, we can eat healthily, exercise daily and stay positive
We have plenty to choose from – to read, paint, clean, cook, knit, do gardening or simply be thankful
We can look in our own magic mirror and truly understand who we are. When we emerge out of this situation, we will then remember how, when things went low, we elevated ourselves with love, humility, and gratitude!