The Pandemic no one wants to talk about!

Rafay Hiraj
5 min readJan 17, 2022


The forgotten hero has become the unspotted villain

Cheap efforts reap cheap rewards

It all boils down to this. You want something you value, you have to work for it. Working for something makes it valuable. That is simply what defines value.

We are all going through a pandemic for over 10 years now, not the one you think. Let’s talk about it.

When someone is talking to you, listen. Really listen. There is something latent going on. They aren’t just saying words. They’re telling you how their mind works.

When there is an argument going on, listen. Really listen. The other person is telling you what sets him off.

When someone mocks you, listen. Really listen. They are showing you their hand while your hand is hidden. You have already won. They have given up all their tricks. They’ve gone all-in while having shown you their cards.

It shouldn’t be, “Talk to someone and you’ll know more about them”


“Listen to someone and you’ll know more about them”

Let’s talk about talking

“He doesn’t speak much, he must have low confidence!”

“He stays alone, he is weird!”

When you talk first, you are drowning the other voices. Don’t break a silence, let the other person do that. Silence gives you a precious moment to think before all hell breaks loose.

When someone is talking, he is manipulating your opinion in one way or the other. Listening gives you a chance to understand what is right or what is not. If you were always waiting for your cue to talk, by filling in empty moments, you have already been beaten.

Now before you know, you have accepted to meet a deadline of 2 days when the work is a week’s worth. Had you only listened!

Why don’t we listen?

We know more than we can ever know nowadays. Google allows you to search anything and get the answer within a fraction of a second. We have come so far that the weight of the Milky way is just a click away!

No, you don’t need to search it up, it’s 3,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 kilograms.


Imagine even being able to perceive this number, let alone having been able to calculate it!

We feel like we know everything nowadays and why shouldn’t we?

Everything is a click away.

So why should we listen?

Well, logically you couldn’t search everything that is of concern to you, right? In arguments, moreover, or simple discussions, you end up asking questions you never knew you had.

Well, that’s just it. Listening makes you ask questions.

As the french play writer, Eugene Ionesco says,

It isn’t the answer that enlightens, but the question.

Research indicates that we have a smaller attention span than goldfish!

Our attention span has decreased to 8.25 seconds from 12 seconds. Goldfish sit calmly at 9 seconds!

This is funny in a sad way!

Social media unsurprisingly has a fair share to do with this. Scrolling down on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, we don’t take in anything, we just move on to the next post. If you don’t like something, swipe through.

In a discussion or argument, when you are bored we look for a way to swipe past it. We do that by taking out our phones.

The internet is another reason. We can find anything out from a search button. This is going to be forgotten very quickly as it is cheap information, more precisely, free information. We can search anything up, if it bores us, swipe up and search up something else!

Imagine if Google charged us for every search, we would make an effort before every one of them.

Listening is contagious

I love listening, it has been everything for me. Listeners are more precise and articulate with their words.

When words are limited, information is invaluable!

Next time you get riled up in a fight, or have an interesting point to raise or something to make everyone laugh, hold onto it for a little longer! Have people work for it!

Next time someone mocks you, listen to him. The issue is not with you, but with him. Just listen and see for yourself. He is shouting that! If only we understood that, there would have been fewer fights!

There should be a book labeled, “How to make the world a better place; A guide to beating Ignorance”

In it, only the word, “Listen!”

In a room where everyone is listening, no one is talking and in a room where everyone is talking no one is listening. Where do you think disaster lurks?

Allow me to come full circle,

Cheap efforts reap cheap rewards

The pandemic of instant gratification is upon us, wear masks and start social distancing.

It is only when COVID hit, we realized to be quiet. Everyone was told to mind their own business and keep themselves safe from themselves!

Everything is a click away. You no longer have to put your article in newspapers, you just put it up online. If it costs money we would make sure it was something worth reading!

If Google took money from every search we would remember what we learned rather than forgetting it after 2 minutes!

What it is costing?

It still does cost a currency very valuable to those above 25 -30 and something from a mystic and fiction novel for those below- time!

Listening builds focus

When you focus on something for a considerable amount of time, you achieve a state of flow. In such a state, your productivity is at its maximum and you no longer think about distractions.

It is hard to start a difficult task, it is just as hard maintaining the fluid state of consistently working at it.

At every moment while writing an article you have the option to shut down the computer, pull out your phone, and watch a video you got excited about an hour ago but that is the cheap reward. Had you not had the phone in the first place in your room, that option would not have been viable.

Meaningful rewards from cheap efforts

Guess what? I am addicted to my mobile phone! Not an unusual problem, is it? I reckon you have it too! Not to sound very excited about it, though!

Meaningful rewards are achieved through consistent and organized bursts of energy rather than spontaneous ones. When you are doing something meaningful, you always have that eye towards your phone, full of distractions. Try putting it in another room- a cheap effort.

Try using a long password for your phone, so the next time you feel the urge to use it when you are trying to sleep, you have to get up from your bed to your table on the other side of the room and input that long password whilst feeling sleepy!

When writing something meaningful, listeners have more to say than talkers!

The irony!