It still remains a wonderful life!
Depression and loneliness are making their presence felt like never before in these Covid inflicted times. Mental illnesses had already been on the rise globally in recent yearsUpdated: May 24, 2020 01:01 IST
One of the most iconic feel good films of all times is Frank Capra’s 1946 release, It’s a Wonderful Life, starring James Stewart and Donna Reed. Several generations of viewers have found their lives elevated just by watching it. Legend has it that a Canadian judge let off a man who had attempted suicide, but ordered him to go and watch the film! We all know that very often it is the company that a human being keeps and the ideas which are fed into his mind which influence his mindset deeply.
The reason why I bring this up is that depression and loneliness are making their presence felt like never before in these Covid inflicted times. Mental illnesses had already been on the rise globally in recent years. One reason is that people are prone to spending more screen time than family time. The pandemic has unfortunately exacerbated the situation and added the element of fear to the minds of the already stressed-out populace.
Thus, with news trickling in, of each tragic death due to the virus or in the case of returning migrants in road accidents, the collective mood further plummets. Human lives are precious and until a vaccine is found for this diabolical unseen enemy, we have every reason to be on tenterhooks. But some people are clearly more impacted mentally, than others, whenever negative news reaches their ears or eyes. They plunge, sometimes hopelessly so, into the abyss of depression. Perpetrators of fake news and spreaders of gloom-filled rumours must really be taken to task for worsening the already sullen social atmosphere. Children and the elderly especially need to receive positive vibes from family members who should know better than to keep affirming bad news repeatedly.
We are, of course, in the midst of a global ‘war’, the likes of which human history has seldom witnessed. Yet, there are signs that the world is concurrently improving in multiple ways. Doctors and nurses have displayed exemplary fortitude and valour to combat the disease. Police officials and sanitary staff have buckled down to do their stuff without fuss. Government officials, often reviled for their lethargy, have rolled up their sleeves and worked tirelessly to perform their duties. Meanwhile, our defence forces deployed at the border have carried on defending the nation with determination, grit, courage and sacrifice. All such human beings are outdoing themselves in the midst of this crisis and inspiring the rest of us to do our bit, in our own little ways.
As previously discussed in this column, the earth’s environment has made a spectacular comeback, with the world having remained largely closed for many weeks and with carbon emissions at their lowest. Pollution related ailments have declined dramatically, and thousands of lives have actually been saved as a result of the improved air quality index. And since automobiles first started zooming on our roads, road accident numbers are currently at their all time lowest.
During the lockdown, families have found time for each other as never before, discovering new joys together that would otherwise have remained elusive in their usually frenetic lives. Stories of hope, love, bonding and motivation during the pandemic have reached us from the shores of many lands, often making us smile, even if we become teary eyed while reading them.
“There are two types of people in this world”, said Tuco, played magnificently by Eli Wallach, in another classic Hollywood film, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Let us not be the type of people who contribute to negative vibrations, by continually cribbing, criticising and complaining. Those who know better, especially parents, must ensure that growing children are adorned with personas which are permeated with positivity and compassion.
The swallow is a bird which has forever been associated with joy and hope. Aristotle famously said. “One swallow does not a summer make!” The year 2020 has been written off by many. But today, when the skies are azure once more, one never knows, a flock of swallows may fly past and actually make our summer. In positivity is embedded hope, for mankind. It is, after all, and despite everything, still a wonderful life.