March 27, 2020

Ashok’s Take: 7 Positives of L.I.F.E to Reflect @ Covid19 Outbreak

Ethical Hacking - The Evolving Role for Security in Technology

It takes but one positive thought when given a chance to survive and thrive to overpower an entire army of negative thoughts.

- Robert H. Schuller


Covid19 aka Coronavirus or any pandemic for that matter is not for just passing tragedies of sickness and death. These far-reaching mass-scale threats, the uncertainty, and fear that accompanies them, leads to new behaviors and beliefs. People understand their priorities in life and try to reflect more.


At this unprecedented time, it is an urgent call for us as human beings to examine the ways in which our industrialized, individualistic society has prioritized anything and everything besides the intricate web of life that sustains us, AND, most importantly, to change.


Hence — during this different, difficult and distinct time — here are some positive aspects of LIFE to ponder on.


Reflect & Reconsider

In today’s overheated economy, TIME is often seen as the most valuable and sparse thing most of us have. Covid19 has disrupted our day-to-day lives providing an opportunity to reflect on things and to reconsider what we do, how we do and why we do them. Things we took for granted — like health and family — have suddenly become the most critical aspect of our life.


Furthermore, many people stack their lives with different social gatherings, and entertainment activities like going to restaurants, gym, concerts, bars, theaters, etc. Suddenly, all of that is cancelled or forbidden, giving everybody a significant amount of extra time. This is offering a great opportunity to rethink our priorities and habits to make the right changes. All of a sudden, all the busy people are starting to experience happiness by aligning the right priorities of life.


Speed & Innovation

Many organizations suffer from complex bureaucracies / rigid hierarchies, and slow procedures that make working life less than pleasant. The coronavirus has forced many organizations to break through these rigid systems and act instantly. Suddenly procedures are skipped or accelerated, and decisions are made more autonomously without any formal approval like before. Almost all the employees in most industries can work from home without direct supervision.


Coronavirus has shown that things can change with a strong stimulus. This is leading to remarkable creativity & innovation. Not being allowed to open their doors, restaurants, are shifting to delivery mode, closed schools have switched immediately to online education and more of digital communication due to work from home. And to reduce the internet load, video streaming companies like Netflix are trying to cut down the video quality which in turn reduces data consumption.


All of it shows that the virus is bringing in opportunities for a better future.


Oneness of Humanity

The Challenging times of today due to Covid19 has offered a greater opportunity for social bonding and other ways of connecting and helping people. However, the feeling of “we’re in this together” has also triggered interesting ways of connecting. Some of the initiatives have gone viral too — such as Italians singing together from their windows and Indians clapping together for the healthcare heroes.


We are not only seeing people come together but we are also starting to see politicians across aisles coming together for the people, countries coming together to help each other in need. We are starting to see the rich share and trying to help people in need. The world is experiencing a totally new phenomenon — religions coming together towards a common cause.


Hence, in the individualized societies many of us live in, COVID19 is providing opportunities to reconnect and create more social coherence. Not only during the crisis but also afterward.


The Phenomenon — Falling Co2 Levels

The pandemic has shut down countries across the world, causing a significant decline in air, noise and water pollution everywhere as countries implement stricter quarantine and travel restrictions.


There are significant drops in carbon emissions — Global air traffic decreased by 4.3% in February with cancellations of tens of thousands of flights, many fossil fuels projects have been halted, shut down of many industrial plants with respect to Manufacturing, Construction, Automotive has reduced carbon emission to a great extent and with so many people working from home, the gasoline consumption for commute and to maintain the sprawling office parks has significantly reduced.


If the world is to have any hope of keeping global warming in check, there cannot be a better time.


Animals back to their Habitat

TWith fewer people getting out of their homes and travel restrictions, it looks like Mother Earth is breathing again and animals who have fled their habitat due to pollution and traffic are coming back.


For example — Venice’s typically murky waterways are calmer and have turned clear due to lack of boat traffic. This has resulted in shoals of tiny fish to come up, dolphins have been spotted swimming happily at the empty ports, more ducks in the fountains of Rome and wild boars are roaming freely on streets as people stay indoors. You can watch here.


Nature has hit a reset button and reclaiming its space during this quarantine period. We, as human being who have self-proclaimed to be the best and invincible no matter how dire the circumstances are, have been put back in our place by nature. As nature heals the mind of humans we are humbled by nature.


Education Pushed for CHANGE

The slow pace of change in academic institutions globally with centuries-old, lecture-based approaches to teaching, and outmoded classrooms has been pushed hard to change. In a matter of weeks, rapid spread of coronavirus has changed how students are educated around the world. Given the digital approach, these new shifts in education approaches could nullify the inequality between creed, class, color and country.


These changes might be causing a degree of inconvenience to some for now, but they are prompting new examples of educational innovation and digitization. To slow the virus spread, students in Hong Kong started learning at home via interactive apps. In China, 120 million Chinese got access to learning material through live television broadcasts, in Nigeria, the standard Google classrooms are implemented. Just not that, even the physical education like athletics — students are shooting and uploading the videos in the right format to his teacher.


Additionally, with 5G technology becoming more prevalent — Learners throughout the world will be able to learn anywhere, anytime truly realizing the concept of digital education. Learning is about to become a daily habit — a true lifestyle development!


New Society

We all have been getting constant updates on how Healthcare industry in each country is turning to innovative use of technology. My point is not on the use of tech but the way this virus is catalyzing the industry all over the world that will pin-up our future healthcare in 21st century.


In the years ahead, we will be striking new social contracts between governments, citizens and technology companies that earn the informed consent of citizens and maximize the public good through the modern digital capabilities. As this pandemic has kickstarted such mindful conversations then we may have something to look back and be thankful for.


Inhale Love — Exhale Gratitude — Time to Change

Now is the time to explore new possibilities and to get organized for the future. We should start detoxifying our culture, beginning with our thoughts: exhale gratitude for that incredible web of life for its resilience under our tremendous assault of this beautiful planet and let go of the fear.


We should also breathe-in love and breathe-out gratitude for the healthcare teams who are risking their lives at this very moment to help those who are down with the virus.


Amidst all the uncertainty, there is still a message of hope for the future: that we’re part of a large community of people, animals, nature who form a unified whole, who support, help, perceive, complement and love each other. The mother earth and humanity can be healed, even at this stage, if we humans realize and accept our real task. Love and unity are the basic substance in the alliance of all living beings.


Instead of enjoying the extra free time, do not try and fill it with other activities like binge- watching. Seize this opportunity, re-arrange how you spend your time and reserve time for nothingness. It is important that we do it not only during the crisis, but also after it.


Be Inspired. Be Motivated. Be Kind. Be Grateful. and Believe.

This too shall pass.

Life is a One Time Opportunity; CONSCIOUS LIVING is THE key.




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This post was written by Asokan Ashok, the CEO of UnfoldLabs. Ashok is an expert in driving customer insights into thriving businesses and commercializing products for scale. As a leading strategist in the technology industry, he is great at recommending strategies to address technology & market trends. Highly analytical and an industry visionary, Ashok is a sought after global high-tech industry thought leader and trusted strategic advisor by companies.


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