The World will NOT be more sensible & considerate post Covid

Lot of predictions are going around. ‘The world will be a better place after this pandemic. We would have become more sensible and considerate for each other and nature. We would rediscover ourselves’. All these are statements and pledges being made currently. Suddenly it seems that World post the covid era would have more gratitude and would be more responsible towards mother nature. That’s what we are hearing in almost every 3rd Instagram post, every 5th LinkedIn article and every webinar. An enhanced and an elevated sense of consciousness

And yet when the moment of practice and implementation comes, many flatter to deceive. The very set of individuals and groups who claim to have hit the chord of realization, are back to their earlier habits and behaviors. Few of them begin cautiously but linger back to their old ways. And then you think- ‘What happened to all the realizations and reflections and the enhanced sense of responsibility and care’- it all seems to vanish. People speak and preach something relevant and new but practice the same old and habituated. (Of course there is a set which is highly disciplined and efficient and practices what they preach. But they are rare). Why does it happen to majority of us?

The most rudimentary reason for this could be that- ‘While human mind talks about risks, analyses them in-depth and even chalks out a plan ahead, it doesn’t fully register unless he/she is personally impacted by it’. We all know that as human beings, we share a universal desire to be known, to be heard, to be valued. And that’s why we begin by participating in any relevant theme. Since we want to be subconsciously heard and appreciated, we talk about the ‘right things’. We contribute in voicing the “right solution”. This is the first layer. Majority of us begin here. Nearly 50% of us fail to take the next step. That is to practice it. Because our mind fails to register the cause or risk or the objective of what we had stated. In this case of pandemic, our mind places the probability of us getting inflicted very less. We inherently believe that we are immune to it- it won’t happen to us. We may still talk about it in every discussion and every forum on what precautionary steps we need to take but our mind doesn’t calibrate the risk upwards.

The remaining 50% of us do begin to undertake actions and steps. We begin with rigor but slowly lose steam. It’s similar to the morning yoga or the morning running exercise. As days pass by, our mind lowers the risk. Recall how we rush to the gym or a morning yoga class, when someone comments on our weight. Similarly, when we hear a corona case in our building, we suddenly become cautious. But then as time passes by, the risk in our mind wades off, and we loosen our daily rituals. It happens to most of us.

And the reason is similar to why many of us do not care about the real things which make us happy. Because we do not get measured on all these things on a daily basis unlike our profession. In our work fields or profession, we have our scorecards or goals which are constantly being accessed. We are rated on those almost on a daily basis. We are compared. We are calibrated. In all of these personal life related themes, we hardly get objectively measured. It’s all subjective. No one is there to question us, except our mind and heart, which is busy reacting to the other set of calibrations. It’s the same in this case of pandemic as well. We are not being measured directly. Yes, cases are being measured on a city level, locality level but the individual is not getting tracked in a real sense. And the human mind, in absence of any such objectivity, downgrades the risk typically. And that’s why all these global events- like 2008 financial crisis or 2020 Covid only brings about behavioral change in those who get impacted by them.

Unless and until a person is personally affected by the event directly or indirectly, the human mind doesn’t register any change in behaviors or practices. The fundamental emotion attributed to a change in behavior is pain or fear — emanating from a deep sense of personal loss or personal damage or the fear of losing. This makes one to act. And 8 out of 10 times, it only happens when it is personal. Till then it’s all talk and only on the surface.

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Adrit Mishra

When statistics & management insights transcends into philosophical, introspective & poetic ones