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The Human Spirit, the importance of human connection

Posted by Manasa Mantravadi on
Ahimsa Founder, Manasa Mantravadi on the Human Spirit and relying on each other

I think if we’ve all learned something in the past few weeks, it’s that human connection is what binds us together.

I am feeling the importance of it in so many ways. As a physician parent - we feel how it affects us at work and at home ... a healing hand and touch are central to our jobs in healthcare and now so many are forced to assess and connect virtually. As front line workers we are scared for our patients and ourselves but know it’s our time to help. However, with limited protective gear, it’s taking a toll on us outside of the hospital. We could be bringing the virus home to our families. I, along with many other healthcare workers, change clothing outside of our home after a shift, run straight into the shower then disinfect every surface at least five times. It’s nerve wracking. I rely on my fellow healthcare workers to connect in our anxiety and altruism.

As a parent, I see the importance of human connection as our kids are now participating in some virtual school ... the way their faces light up by simply seeing their teachers and friends invokes a simultaneous happiness and sadness. Watching those teachers desperately want to reach through the screen and hug each student to provide comfort is both uplifting and despairing at the same time. I am overwhelmed with my own emotions as I watch my six-year-old burst into tears when she sees but can’t hug her grandparents through the window of their home when we drop off groceries. I take solace in the fact that I can hug our children and tell them that after we are all finished being ‘Planet Protectors,’ we will be able to embrace fully and celebrate our victory. I rely on my fellow moms to connect in our own worries and job to provide reassurance to our children.

Lastly, as the founder of a startup, I feel directly how the economy is reeling. Only five months old, Ahimsa was poised to make a splash at the annual JPMA show “Best in Baby” as finalists in the innovation awards for our infant / toddlers sets. Unfortunately, but understandably, it was canceled. No refunds. No rescheduled date. Also, our manufacturer is now down in India. We were already grinding to get off the ground. Where it’s a major setback, it simply gives me a glimpse into what others are going through – those who rely on the success of their businesses for their livelihood and the livelihood of the hundreds whom they may employ. I’m hopeful though as I see people doing what they can to help each other during these difficult times because we are connected by human spirit. I see how each of us wants to offer our physical hand to hold in solidarity. I rely on my fellow small business owners to connect in our present frustrations and future hopes.

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Whether you are a healthcare worker, parent, small business owner ... someone worried by their pre-existing medical condition, an expecting mother, a child who receives free meals at school or really any human that’s part of this ONE world - we are all feeling the need to connect with each other during these incredibly challenging times.

While we can’t share in that human connection physically right now, I find comfort in knowing we are united in our human spirit across the globe. Our three-year-old has a morning circle song in her school that says, “my inner light is your inner light.” When you ask her what that song means, she explains it so simply: “The good in me sees the good in you.”

And that’s what the human spirit must do as we get through this ... because we are stronger together - even when we must remain apart.

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