Wednesday, 9 December 2020

Mind Medicine - The Best Vaccine

The vaccine scene for the corona virus seems to be reaching the final stages. For better or for worse we will be getting a vaccine soon. Whether it will have long term side effects as some discrete reports suggest, time will tell. But again, the entire vaccine industry is under severe scrutiny and not just for the Corona vaccine.

The biggest crisis that the last few months has thrown up, together with the scrouge of the virus is that of the mental variety. While those that have got the severe form of the virus have definitely faced distress and disruption in their lives, its the rest of the population worldwide, the majority, that has faced a different kind of challenge, with the abnormal changes to lifestyle.

The crisis has seen varied responses - from the most conservative, masked, dont mix, stay at home, dont eat or step outside, wait it out response to the brazen it out, and dont care, and life goes one as usual response and many forms of in between. 

The virus, its consequences, sometimes deaths and suffereing, mostly the negativity, has continued to prey heavily on our minds these past many months. The best vaccine to get rid of all these effects is to ensure we take care of our minds.

There is a small story I read recently, the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his Antartica Expedition. Apparently the ad Shackleton placed when looking for his crew went like this - "men wanted for hazardous journey, small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful, honour and recognition in case of success".  

What does it say about the intrepid people who answered this ad? Were they fools? Ernest Shackleton was a legend by that time and men answering the ad and wishing to go on this expedition knew what they were in for. They understood life had no guarantees and they wished to do the things they loved. What made them stand out, was their indomitable spirit, their attitude, their thirst for discovery. Even though Shackleton's voyage was not successful in it's goals, it stood out just for the way he and his crew members survived it. Iced in for a major part of two years, a sunken ship,  taking a 800 mile open boat (the saved lifeboats) trip to solid ground.

The mind has endless possibilities. The biggest challenge it faces is the will of the person to be positive. There are so many layers covering our day to day living that it becomes an arduous task to just peel away those layers to reveal the simple task of living. But once those layers are peeled away, the mind shines cleanest and brightest. The successful leaders will tell you, that they just focussed on the job. So it is our job - to keep on living with a free mind, positive attitude. Life has no guarantees.

A race horse has blinkers to avoid external distraction. Thats what we need to do, put on the blinkers, stay focussed, and happy, and positive - and we couldn't ask for better vaccines.