The day after the plague

The day after the plague

From within the walls of the hall of wisdom spring forth all of the virtues we live by and the challenges that come with living in confined spaces is a sure test on one’s virtuosity and resilience when it comes to dealing with what was previously seen as only the part of the everyday.

The once disregarded now form part of the forefront in these days when the words of the old mystics of time, the philosopher writers of the previous ages, come to reveal themselves in a clearer sense this time around. There is no better sense of beauty than reading a work by a writer that has actually lived the events they recount in the words of the books they pen for reading by the public and its different audiences.

Reality has had to come back on a different level in these Coronavirus times: the spaces are wider between people and the entities that make up their furniture are closer. The once two hour meet in the morning before the rush to work and school has come to a sudden halt; there’s hours and hours of sitting together and mapping out the future after this pandemic together.

Families and communities now understand the value of sticking together; there is no way we could ever get out of this one: unity in action is what we need more than anything at this point in time.

There is now need to be courteous because we cannot live without being virtuous, there is need to remember all of the virtues. Words that define virtue, honour, trust, loyalty, honesty, truth, diligence, sacrifice and others of the similar kind all come in handy for the person that wants to be deemed a virtuous individual. Virtue will always beat vice, as human history has proven; goodwill always vanquishes evil intention as the universal law/s of righteous living dictate.

The individual that needs to succeed in life needs to keep good intentions at all times for out of them (good intentions) stem the universally effective powers that propel man or woman to their rightful destiny.
Being virtuous and maintaining good intentions will surely lead the world to the desired goal of defeating the current COVID-19 virus if the individual members of our communities across the globe are virtuous. There is need to always maintain good intentions, that all are patient in their waiting for the moment of success, and are constant in their effort to succeed.

Many of our efforts fail because we do not maintain a sense of diligence, dilly-dallying from one issue to the next without ensuring that what we are attempting to achieve needs one to maintain pace to a great degree.
The few violent flare ups between the joint policing forces and the civilian citizens are all the results of the fact that reverence is not given where it is due. The interaction began on a ‘we and them’ basis and therefore, both sides from that point on failed to acknowledge each other as fellow beings.

There just was no earnest pursuit from both sides to form some simple type of happiness begotten of peaceful interactions between the policing authorities and the citizens. There is now need to exercise virtue in the deepest sense of the term.

Virtue is what determines the three main words of every day; existence, subsistence, and insistence. These three, the writer believes, are what make up the living years of any one man or woman on earth, and this time around; there is a clear and present danger posed on humanity in the entire by the flu virus.

There is therefore the need to be respectful to each other and one another in these times when cordial interaction between the members of society and the authorities if we are to exist beyond the full spate of the virus. We need to move in order to subsist, but the movement should not be seen as it is in the stampedes for basic goods and services we have seen flare in the course of the lockdown.

We should always insist on following the right procedures as have been put by the authorities concerned to ensure that we make it through to the end of the pandemic.

There are various tests and temptations that should be taken note of with regard to the character and the behaviour of the human creature in the course of this lockdown. Rene Descartes penned the quintessential existential statement, “I think, therefore I am (Cogito ergo sum)” and, one would wonder what it is about this statement that makes man. The declaration, “I am’’, has its source in thoughts.

That which one thinks is what makes him or her, for they can then relate to the world around them filled with other people “who are’’ like them. The young man and woman that know who they are relate better with other people because they know their stance in life. That they are aware of it makes it much easier for them to express themselves as individuals and, if their expression is governed by the virtues mentioned above, then they become virtuous individuals. I choose to ignore those negative what ifs because they drive men to the undesired, that is, peacelessness, jealousy and anarchy. Motivated to do good, human beings will do good but, if each one is constantly showered with the negative they are likely to become negative individuals.

The temptation to go out for a jol is irrelevant to the fight against the COVID-19, we should now be spending most of our time introspecting on the possibilities after the deluge, not whining for a classy smoke and yearning for single malt. This is not the time to resist, but it is time to ponder the possibilities in the absence of the usual temptations in these testing times.

Many of us think that living entails waking up in the morning, going to work, passing through the day and doing the set tasks, coming back home to relax in front of the television or going to the social group (which could be a bar, church group, or a circle of friends). A lot do not question whether they are living to the best of their potential, or whether what they live is what they wished to have in the first place.

The sudden relapse in time brought by the pandemic has given many of us whose lives were too busy for us to think the time to sit back and reflect and introspect. The need changes that will drive many towards success after the storm shall come from these moments of imposed exile the virus spread imposed upon us.

Life as a fact should not be lived as a long tedious process that is governed by set routines that end up ingrained in the mind and the psyche of the individual. Everything as we used to know it has come to a point where it is questioned, and this means that the blueprint of the process of change is sure to change some of its aspects.

Existence insists on changing the scene every now and then (I look at clouds change their patterns and believe that God made them as such to grant me the knowledge that everything should change from time to time), and existence without change makes living a monotonous process that ends up unsavoury to the individual. Always adhere to rules and strive to respect them if need be though the changes brought into our daily lives by the virus may at times feel undesired. Change is a necessary part of existence, think of a screaming child being born; the change from the comfortable confines of the mother’s womb to the living screaming world of walking man may seem an undesired transformation but, that child needs to experience it to be an individual that will later change the world.

Changes themselves keep on changing, and if they do not change, have to be coerced into changing for the betterment of the world and human existence. All great men and women were themselves little infants at some stage in their lives. That they became who they are, is a direct result of the fact that change/s came, and they were transformed into the greatness they now bask in.

He or she who fears change runs the risk of subsisting, that is, living well below their potential. There is need at this point in time for every woman, man and child to exercise extreme caution when it comes to adhering to the lockdown rules.

There is need to express oneself, but it should be in a manner that is constructive to the world, being the doctor or lawyer one desired to be in the first place, being that poet or musician spreading virtuous messages of love and peace to the world, or being that engineer, architect or gardener toiling daily to change barren landscapes into beautiful sprawling suburbs and cities. None of the mentioned is better than the other, what really counts is whether the individuals have the virtuous intention/s of changing the world for the better.

The people of this world should strive to be virtuous in all their pursuits for happiness in these hard times. It is only when we are respectful of one another that we can change the world for the better. There is the real danger of entire societies decaying into the subsistence state of “once was or has been’’ instead of standing up and fighting to change the face of the monster we are now facing with that God-granted wisdom. Only a virtuous character of each individual can save us.

Existence is governed by the exercise of patience and repetition to get to the true meaning/s of anything and everything. Those current success stories of individual communities in the fight against the Coronavirus one sees here have this wisdom and knowledge at the core of their being.
The communities that succeed in this current endeavour have set their minds upon dealing with the pandemic and nothing else matters. You shall begin to understand what it really means to exist only by sticking to the rules and knowing that this pandemic will not last; only the obedient will see the sunrise of the day after the plague.

Be virtuous and live life to the full even when the spaces within which you used to walk have gotten smaller and smaller with each passing day in these COVID-19 times. It is a fact that many were already impatient by the second day of the lockdown.

The sudden disruption to the usual pattern of life could of course never be comfortable to anyone that has to hustle for their existence. Feeling stuck in one place, the patter of the feet on the pavement and the crooked path began to be missed. But walking means putting oneself at risk, and so we are forced to limit this one natural aspect of our existence and be patient. We should limit our movement if we are to survive until the day after tomorrow.

When the poet, Dante Alighieri wrote Inferno which is part one of La Divina Commedia (The Divine Comedy), the pious of the day must have thought that he was writing about the experiences of the individual on a journey into hell (inferno), but a closer analysis of the poem soon reveals that it could well be a description of the events that lead the individual in dilemma into praxis. We have reached a certain point and we are unsure or are unaware of the real danger of the problems that Coronavirus really poses to us at this moment.

We are at a point when we are forced to make a choice on how best to deal with the prevailing circumstances to turn them in our favour. Dante begins canto 1 with the words (which I find very musical in their original Italian and highly meaningful in English) and they in their simplicity speak of us at this point when we have to make decisions on the choices we have made with regard to the pandemic:

Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita, (When I had journeyed half of our life’s way,)
Mi ritrovai per una selva oscura, (I found myself within a shadowed forest,)
Ché la diritta via era smarrita. (For I had lost the path that does not stray.)
Life is a journey through time, and some travel far longer than others while some do not get to begin theirs but soon pass before they are born or moments just after they are born. The only thing that gets every individual is the decision to get up and be, and what that may be is not often clear at the beginning of the day but surely will be understood at the end of the day when one reflects in retrospect.

Regret follows bad decision just as surely as the right decision follows the unravelling of a dilemma. We should at this point in time aim at ensuring that we do not regret our decisions tomorrow.
Commitment to the decision will get one to the goal envisioned, and whether it be done individually or communally, the reaching of a goal demands that the parties involved are committed to seeing the initial decision to adhere to the lockdown rules through. We should unite in this fight against the virus if we are to live to see the sunrise of the day after it has finally ended.

Tšepiso S. Mothibi

Previous Time up for Thabane
Next Five weeks of starvation

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