The idea that the Earth belongs to each and everyone equally was earlier limited to textbooks and some books. Time has come when this idea takes centre stage and we remind ourselves that the planet truly belongs to everyone. Humans are social animals that have misused their intelligence to such an extent that nothing matters in front of them other than their money and power. Time and again nature has tried to remind humankind of this truth through natural calamities such as earthquakes, tsunamis, floods,heavy downpours, uncontrolled fires and so on to create a semblance of balance. Humankind has had no time to pause and learn from these events.
Rather humankind never wanted to learn and take time away from their ‘busy schedules’. Now the whole world is on standby mode courtesy a tiny virus: Coronavirus. Really, it’s hard to believe at first but then the world has been aware of the adverse effects of the action of ‘super intelligent and over ambitious humans’ who have left no stone unturned to exploit the planet. Never before in history, be it wars or natural calamities, has the world come under one common roof i.e. the roof of lockdown.
This period of lockdown is an opportunity for the human race to think of ways to curb over-exploitation of Mother Earth. It is difficult to imagine something like this on a global scale but if individuals start making changes then it will have an impact. This time it’s not only about having an impact but also about reaching an actual solution. The Earth needs to be balanced and shared equally by all species in a real sense. World leaders who are making various announcements should also focus on stringent schemes for the well-being of the planet. This may ensure that when this lockdown period ends, humans will not jump to exploit the planet once again.
Dolphins and various species are once again being seen in the rivers of Italy for the first time in 60 years. They were displaced from these waterways due to human action and pollution. The Ganga and Yamuna are sacred for Hindus. Yet, they have been over-burdened by various forms of pollution. There were big plans to clean those rivers with little results. Yet, now these rivers are close to their original form. Clearer blue skies in the plains and improved air quality is clearly evident with each passing day. Peacocks are being seen walking gracefully along empty streets in different parts of the world and are a pure treat for the eyes. All this has been achieved only due to the lockdown and self-isolation norms that have been implemented to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Amidst all the chaos that the world is experiencing currently, these are certain things that can helpus see this period from a different perspective. It teaches humans to not take everything around them for granted. Be it the human race, nature or any of the species, large or small, that shares this planet with us. All of us deserveto exist on the planet equally. The Earth is indispensable and has survived through bitterly cold and exasperatingly hot periods, with and without dinosaurs. This brings to mind a proverb that provides an apt description of our relationship with the planet. “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” The wisdom of this proverb should act as a deterrent for us humans from trying to make profits at the cost of destroying the planet.
On a lighter note, the current situation is surely a race to save the human race! Let’s hope humans emerge victorious in this race and take this lockdown period as a life lesson to correct their ways.
By Deachen Yangdol
Deachen Yangdol is a mechanical engineer. She has worked in the corporate sector in New Delhi and is now based in Leh.