– by Meena Murthy Kakkar, Design Head & partner, Envisage
Looking back to a few months ago, our world was running at a breakneck pace and we were struggling to keep up with it. We were running against time to meet deadlines, competing against our peers, and fighting to meet personal and professional goals. Our mental space revolved around our achievements and centered on numbers; business predictions, target achievements, or something as superficial as follower counts; numbers are what dominated our lives. There was no time or an effort to connect with anyone, not even with ourselves. With this, loneliness reigned supreme, uncomfortable silence in our mind in-between the chaotic brightness.
Then the pandemic hit, and the silence extended outwards. The silence was different- It cut the noise in our head.
Loneliness has evolved into solitude.
Despite “Social Distancing” we are getting closer. We are taking out time to care, listen, laugh, and live in the present, and now with perhaps a greater sense of empathy and expression, without the social buzz around us. Art, in its various forms, has come to emerge as a medium of expression.
Art is a meaningful and beautiful medium to express what is happening within, in context to what was happening outside and vice versa too. Empathy, of course, lies at its core; a tool that is much valued to find solutions in every sphere of life. Empathy is also the first and the most important step of design thinking as well.
With a renewed sense of collective responsibility and awareness, humanity is stepping up to empathize and serve anyone and everyone in need. Whether it is the senior citizens, the stranded migrants, the birds outside that have come back to inhabit our world or the animals on our streets, we have discovered and are learning to be more sensitive and caring towards those who may not have the same luxuries that we are used to. From creating designs for the future of our cities to music to show encouragement to dance to express gratitude, empathy, and art are coming together to bring the society closer.
It is our hope that our learning’s in time of this pandemic are remembered for the time to come, and we stay connected with what we love and ourselves. It is time to pick up that painting brush, take out those instruments, or put your dancing shoes on. We have been presented with an opportunity to reconnect with humanity and ourselves once again.