Pandemics, Climate Crisis and the Challenges Beyond

A famous American author, Zora Neale Hurston once said, “There are years that ask question and years that answer.”

In the past two years, the world went through an unprecedented pandemic crisis with momentous challenges. With all its variants, and in a series of waves, a tiny virus hit our human race so hard, so fast that we stumbled to our feet again and again while trying to catch the pace.

Many countries responded vigilantly by imposing lockdowns, banning travel and social events while the others lost lives, resources, and finances fighting the crises. Some countries postponed the elections while some elected their leaders based on the best strategy to cope with the pandemic and some protested against those who lost the game. Prioritizing health on peace, Intergovernmental organizations seemed to be fighting the health crisis rather than preventing wars and differences among the countries.

While many industries were shut worldwide, everything online boomed with emphasis on online classes, workspaces, marketplaces, streaming, gaming, etc. Ignoring the privacy issues like vulnerability and emotional exposure on social media, a new idea of “Metaverse” emerged which further complicated the separation of two different realities. Moreover, the use of Artificial Intelligence moved a step further with automatic cars, delivery drones, and lots of fancy robots for daily households.

Eventually rich became richer and the poor became poorer and those who had the chance headed for space adding more to the insecurities that with all the climate, health, and hunger crises earth was becoming hard to live.  All in all, the pandemic has shaped the world in a new way by highlighting a series of new paradoxes and underlining the lines that our societies were trying to blur.

So, no doubt, the previous two years were the years we had to ask a question. And, the only question we all found ourselves asking was that, as a humanity, are we prepared to address and resolve the new chain of humanitarian and global crises?

This year might be the one with an answer. Although vaccines have been introduced and the situation is getting a little bit under control, we still have a lot of stuff to resolve. It’s time that we stop relying on old temporary ways of dealing with problems like forming social agreements or passing laws and do something different because, the challenges are new, so should be the solutions.

Unlike wars, hunger, or education crises, pandemics and climate crises are far more complex. They do not require individual efforts as a citizen or a nation but rather a collective effort as humankind. As Hardin’s “tragedy of the commons” argues, we would have to put our short-term self-interest against the common good in the long term.

For the said purpose, emphasis on emotional progression as much as intellectual progression is important to prepare everyone to serve the planet. The inclusion of emotional intelligence as a discipline into the education system of our new generations can teach them their global responsibilities along with individual and social responsibilities. They must be taught that ethics, morality, and kindness doesn’t only revolve around humans anymore, rather it incorporates all the inhabitants of this planet including the efficient and effective use of the resources.

The thing is, no matter how challenging the problems are, we, as humans have the remarkable potential to solve our problems and we can continue to do so if we teach our new generation to save our collective selves from our own individual impulses. Because, there is no law, no agreement, no authority or institution that can make people responsible towards anything, the way their conscious does.

Author: Hina Khan Palwasha

I define myself as a very creative, persuasive, determined, energetic and outgoing person with excellent interpersonal, communication and negotiation skills and the ability to develop and maintain mutually beneficial internal and external relationships. I enjoy being part of, as well as managing, motivating and training, a successful and productive team, and can thrive in highly pressurized and challenging working environment.

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