We step into 2021 with great expectation that the new year will be far better than 2020.
The coronavirus pandemic has almost dominated the entire global discourse, especially its impact on the health and socioeconomic wellbeing of the people around the world.
Almost two million people have died after being infected by Covid-19, besides the damage done to the economy where a substantial number of global citizens, including those from Malaysia, have become unemployed.
It is not so much about expecting a better new year but the importance of reflecting on essential priorities that humanity has failed to consider prior to and at the onset of the pandemic.
The Covid crisis is not just about the coronavirus or economics but the failure of the world to understand the limitations of human progress despite scientific advancement and technological innovation. These have failed to protect those who have lost their lives.
What has the distinguished scientific community and even the World health Organization (WHO) done since the Sars virus outbreak in 2003 to come up with effective vaccines?
The current talk of scientific achievements with the slew of vaccines is a welcome development, but it seems to be too late for the many families whose loved ones have died in the past year without a vaccine.
The Covid tragedy has revealed that whatever achievement we attain in science, it is bound to fail if it is not guided by wisdom beyond the senses.
This is not about the dualistic thinking of science or religion, but the importance of wisdom derived from spiritual truths beyond the finite mind -wisdom focused on priorities that would give science its real purpose, which is to serve the common good.
Unfortunately, science has been used to enrich big pharma companies where profits have become the overriding factor in medical science research.
Another question that global citizens should ask is how a virus believed to have originated from wild animals could be so easily transmitted to humans. Have we crossed the natural line of demarcation due to profiteering at the expense of nature which has exposed humans to this dangerous virus?
What is obvious is the world’s leaders and the brightest have lost their sense of wisdom in their pursuit of success, which has brought much misery to humanity. This is also true of war, destruction and human rights violations that we see coming from countries that proclaim themselves as beacons of freedom and righteousness.
The year 2021 should therefore be a time for global citizens to reflect not only on their personal expectations and past failures but to connect as communities through a deep spiritual exercise of examining their collective social conscience to discern what the world is truly missing despite its progress.
Do our current socioeconomic, health and scientific priorities serve the common good, or are they based on the idolatry of money? A spirituality of priorities and environmental consciousness should be the way forward to rejuvenate a world broken by the pandemic.