— Swami Brahmavidananda Saraswati
I am widening the scope of responding to the Coronavirus to include our response to any situation, which has implications for our entire life. One rarely has a choice about the situations one has to face. Some of the situations may be pleasant, some of them comfortable, some of them challenging and some outright threatening. This is an objective presentation. What our own subjective thinking is, I will come to later. Given these situations especially the challenging or the threatening ones, one has a choice to reacting to them out of fear, anxiety, worry and sometimes in panic. That makes the situation much worse than what it is. Our subjectivity only worsens an objective problem. We do have a choice to respond proactively with courage, compassion and confidence. There is no guarantee whether the situation can be handled to our favour. But, one thing is assured. We would have done the best possible in the circumstances if we respond proactively. That means, even before we think of responding to a situation, one has to see that one has handled the worry, fear and anxiety that is in our mind and replaced it with courage, confidence and compassion.
To quote a poet, ‘The coward dies a thousand deaths. The valiant die, but once!. Keeping that in mind, whether the situation is like the Corona virus or the SARS virus earlier, a natural calamity or a terrorist attack, it is important that we respond proactively. This means to objectively look at the situation and make the best choice available in the options available with courage, confidence and compassion. Foolhardiness is not courage. Doing what is right with some caution and not cowering in fear is a good way forward. There is always a choice. If we cannot see an option it only means we are not creative or imaginative enough. And that has made us blind to the options possible. Therefore whatever the situation is, let us not react in panic. Let us not react out of fear. Let us respond to every situation we meet courageously, confidently and proactively.