Lent is a tradition during which people with faith observe fasting and keep themselves from temptation, mainly followed by Christians. This is done in faith, to replicate Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days. 2020 can easily be called as the Year of Lent!
Understanding the situation all of us have at hand, I want to talk about this year, the year that can also be called the ‘Year of Lent‘. The whole world, irrespective of Religion, Geography, language, faith or ethnicity, are observing the Lent days, knowingly or unknowingly. This was not because of a newfound faith but, is out of fear of what is out there. In a way, humankind is penancing for the atrocities we committed towards the natural flow, Mother Earth and each other. This is a subconscious penance for sins like greed, sloth, lust, anger, gluttony. Envy, wrath, and pride. All this was put on halt and we experienced the power of Thee and what happens to us, how fragile we are to a un-thoughtful event or the changes that come our way.
It was November 2019 and the world was entering its coldest winter in a decade. While we were busy working on the mega problems like pollution, deforestation and preparing for putting a man on Mars, nature had other plans. Yes, I am talking about the sacrifices of the Lent of 2020, which is ongoing as I write this post. As we know, the world is now talking only about Covid-19, its effects, casualties and the fact that we are far away from finding a cure for it. But before you start thinking about the grim situation around you, think about how it came to be? Or what happened first?
It all started in the East, in the land of silk, which is now known as the land of manufacturers and suppliers worldwide. It may be because of Greed or Lust; we humans try to push the envelope on everything, from the tallest skyscraper to diving to the deepest ocean. Sometimes our ambitions make our judgment blurry and we bite off more than we can chew. While the origin of the virus is undetermined, we all agree that it started in China.
The first case was reported in November 2019; hence it is named Covid-19. This case was confirmed to be a member of the MERS and SARS family and we knew the implications, still, the announcement of the newly found lethal disease was delayed. No actions were taken to contain it at a ground 0 level. This was all done because of greed, the greed of businesses to mint more money, to prevent the loss that might incur due to a few people not showing up to work. Apparently, green paper was more important than life. This greed for money and lust for power drives people to do inhuman things sometimes. The act of ignorance and suppressing in the region were busy making money and the virus with all its might started spreading, flowing freely globally, as the country continued to supply the thousands of products they manufacture to the billions of people, across the world.
Pride of the rich, on the other hand, made them feel that they are invincible as they marched into the infection to make more for the satisfaction of greed. Gluttony saw an opportunity and kept everyone busy in what they were doing, satisfying her sisters, Greed, and Pride. In the meantime, the master evil had its own plans, hopping onto millions and working within, ticking like a time bomb, to conquer the world, far and wide. Unknown to the coming danger, things were business as usual till February 2020. This is when signs of a major outbreak of viruses were too big to be hidden behind the curtains of selective press and bureaucracy. The Truth still tried to showcase what is happening and inform the world about the deadly virus that was spreading in China, to stop them from visiting to keep them safe. The fact is, the province of Wuhan which is considered as a ground 0 for the outbreak has already been spreading the virus now for 3 months. As a major economic hub, Wuhan, as usual, was seeing a lot of traffic of cargo and people. People who now already had the virus in them then traveled to other countries to their families and for business. Everywhere they went, the evil went with them, within them, like a hitchhiker; this being the result of our sins. As they say, evil always comes announced and we unknowingly gave it room to become a beast, taking away what’s been hours since the beginning of time, freedom.
Still, the pride of the strongest nations whispered to them not to worry, this was a trick and nations were brought to their knees in one blow of the evil virus. This time even the richest were not spared. Wrath of humans and their efforts to kill the virus were all in vain as they had created a perfect monster, something that was resilient to every medicine under the sky. Sloth being the right hand stopped the government authorities to take preventive measures and save humankind.
By the time March 2020 started, people realized the true potential of the danger and saw their judgment day coming with the reaper in the form of a virus. This triggered a global outcry that led to the year of Lent. The year when we paid for a lot of our sins and Mother Nature took matters in her own hands. With countries immobilized by the fear of getting infected, billions staying inside waiting for the Good News; I wonder how many are asking for forgiveness and repenting. How many believe that it’s only He who can Shepard them across this stormy sea.
Today, being locked down, our pride has diminished, lust has disappeared, anger has become useless, sloth is uprooted, greed reduced to ash, wrath is only for the evil lurking about. We now only feel envy of creatures that are protected by Mother Nature, who are enjoying their time without us, so-called social animals. We sit home in penance and fear keeps reminding us of what could be and what in reality should be. This seems to be the world observing Lent, many may disagree, but hey, it makes sense if you think about it. We the culprits of this evil are to repent, suffer and some might pay the ultimate price. While Mother Nature does what she does best, heal her by taking matters in her own hands.
Among all the scary news you see the year of Lent has some positive aspects too. Look for the dolphins returning to the water, endangered species seen after 2 decades, pollution has gone down in just a few days, you can see more birds in the sky and even the night sky is clearer than ever with more stars to be seen. There is no race to work, no envy of neighbors, no lust for power, no greed for money, no anger on the streets, no wrath of the upper management, no sloth of apprentice and no pride of being a human that exists. All that prevails is the fear of death, fear of drowning in the big flood. In that fear, we are coming closer to strangers, helping each other out, warning each other of danger. Fortunately, this time around we have the gadgets and sources to spread the message and share how we feel.
So let’s pray during this year of Lent and promise yourself to keep ourselves away from sins. Live righteously, help one another, and take care of Mother Nature and her children, no matter how big or small. Let’s not pollute, litter, and let’s not push the envelope on her so far, that she can’t take it anymore. We are her children, it’s only Her and His protection we can survive and thrive. Their happiness results in our existence and growth.
I’d like to leave a few words:-
The duality of life teaches us that every aspect of life is created from a balanced interaction, of opposite and competing forces. Like Day and Night, Good and Bad, Love and hate. Year of Lent gives us time to introspect.
Our choices determine our actions and actions show who we are.
Make the right choices, be well, stay home, and stay safe.
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