As I look out the window at the partly cloudy day with little bits of golden sun streaking down from the gaps in the cloud cover, I can’t help but wonder as to how much my priorities and perspectives have changed in just a matter of weeks (since the global lockdown started in early March). As an executive of a global investment bank, I had structured my life around work which tends to be quite hectic with very little time for anything else.
With my team spread across continents, my work required regular travel. Efficiency, productivity, and delivering value to shareholders have been my top priorities at work, and by extension in life. As the lockdown has slowly extended beyond March and now into April, I catch myself reflecting more on the frailty of our human condition, of how readily our seemingly unbreakable structures – law and order, banks, courts, etc – can all apart, and for the first time in my life I can catch a glimpse of how anarchy can set in. Even though that is a sombre realisation, I see hope and optimism in the way most of humanity has reacted to this crisis at such a global scale and in how this situation has made me revisit my priorities in life.
Personally, I am spending more time nurturing relationships at work, reaching out to friends, picking up on long forgotten hobbies, and hugging (actually from a distance) my kids just a bit longer, as Covid-19 arrival has served as a strong reminder of my own mortality and impermanence of life.
Singh is a philosopher, economist and engineer