Role of Human Skills Amid a Crisis
Our dependence on technology in day-to-day life is almost complete and the digital revolution has almost penetrated our private spaces. But what has been exposed adversely during the present Pandemic crisis is the lack of human skills among the society at large. The biggest challenge, facing humans, has been their inability to deal with the unpredictable times. It is evident from the fact that most of the European nations and the tech-giants like the US have been found underprepared, if not unprepared, in effectively dealing with a massively unpredictable crisis like COVID-19. And it has been compounded by the inhuman response in some countries, that have state-controlled media, as the high number of loss of human lives may suggest.
There have been Pandemics in the past but our present generation of ‘Millennials’ are witnessing what pandemics can do to great civilizations. We need to understand that although we can’t serve our humanity through hollow talk only, the right kind of human skills can help us fight this battle in a more organized and effective manner. We shall be served better if we can generate more mutual trust amongst the masses. Such terrible times need to tackle through a much coordinated and integral approach by the people as well as the authorities responsible for social responsibilities.
Benefits of Humanistic Approach towards the challenge
In a European nation, the duties of the Nursing staff were minutely marked very strict demarcations like fixed tenure of treatment on Monday and another fixed schedule for Tuesday and so on with little flexibility in the hands of Nurses. It seemed too mechanical and rigid. The nurses always felt a lack of flexibility in their work as a challenge, so they proposed to the authorities for an experiment in the approach. They suggested that the rules should leave it to the nurse to decide how they would deal with their patients under the permissible medical guidelines. The results of this experiment were astoundingly positive as not only the patients got well in half of the treatment times earlier but the cost of treatment also was dramatically reduced. What we need to understand is that we must multiple approaches to any challenge, rather than getting stuck on a predictable route only.
In the Education sector, During the ‘Guru Kul’ days, the teacher had the complete freedom of teaching subjects based on his academic background and experience using the resources available to him/her. Now, although the technology has made teaching easily available and has brought it to our doorstep, Yet when in one Indian state, the department started putting restrictions on the experimentation and creativity of teachers, by prescribing the division of classroom sessions through micro divisions and multi-level reporting of progression of classwork. This led the teachers feeling suffocated and they took it is as an attempt to curb their creativity and originality of teaching capabilities, and before long it started reflecting in the performance of the students as well since the teachers were busy making frequent reports on different formats to be submitted to the higher echelons rather than planning the lesson plans for their next class. Thus it is important that we always keep in mind that to solve human problems, a judicious balance between the proper use of technology and a humanistic attitude will lead to better outcomes.
Human skills vs Technology
Human skills may give us unpredictable responses, but will surely prove to be very useful and act as an asset in the turbulent times. Qualities like the ability of experimentation, preparedness, and imagination will be tremendous resources of resilience and strength which will give us limitless capacity and variation in innovations and inventions. If we outsource our strengths to a machine for work that we can do ourselves, it will be an expensive tradeoff. Remember, the more we let machines think for us, the less we will be able to do for us. The more time the teachers and doctors spend on their supporting machines, the less they will know their students and patients respectively. Similarly, the more the time the parents spend on parenting apps the less they will know and understand their children.
If anyone tries to tell you that they know what the future of the human race is going to be, he is trying to mislead you, a spurious kind of manifestation of destiny. We must learn to use our creative abilities to imagine, take brave steps towards innovation, and stretch human capacities to achieve the impossible.