Opinion and Editorial

Guarantee — is it obsolete?

Shilpa Bhasin Mehra
Filed on April 27, 2021

In today’s world, we are not certain about anything. Guarantee and warranty seem like words of another era.

I remember salespersons selling their stuff, whether it’s a water filter, watch or vaccuum cleaner, having certain years of warranty and in some cases even lifetime, with a certificate to support their claims. Everything in life or literature is reference to context.

In today’s world, we are not certain about anything. Guarantee and warranty seem like words of another era. If you do everything that the doctor orders, still there is no guarantee that you will be safe from the virus. The probability should be proportionate to your efforts to be safe, but guarantee…alas no. Earlier when we took a vaccine, it was almost certain that we would not get that disease. I have not heard (although there may be some very rare cases) of people who took the polio vaccine getting afflicted with the disease. Thanks to a successful vaccination programme, the United States has been polio-free for more than 30 years.

With the Covid vaccine, there is no guarantee that you are safe from the virus, what we are told by the doctors is that the severity of the illness will be much less if we are vaccinated. But that itself is a savior.

Human beings made science and not vice versa. Remember the times when doctors gave their patients zero per cent survival chance and the person lived and lived long. It happens not just in movies, but in real life too. Some swimmers or mountaineers were given a zero per cent chance to survive in the face of a tornado or avalanche. But some fortunate ones finally made it.

The present situation is unprecedented for sure, but the human spirit and resilience have weathered many a storm and come out triumphant. “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”. That’s what required of us today: to be tough — mentally and physically — besides keeping ourselves safe.

The medical profession and governments are doing what they can but we as individuals need to step in, step up and do our bit. It is heartening to see people and NGOs reaching to the needy and people across all communities pray for the sick. We are social beings and for us to be locked in isolation is not normal. Yet because that is the need of the hour, we are re-inventing ourselves, and keeping our minds busy, trying our best to be productive in isolation. Music concerts are being held virtually, cricket and football matches being played in empty stadiums. But what I admire is how we humans adapt. While there is no guarantee in the times we are living in, some things have stood the test of time. The human spirit to rise above the difficulties, the emotional strength we get from the love of our family and friends, the power of faith and the resilience of the human mind — these need no guarantee or validation.

Just like we need doses of medicines, I leave you with some inspiring nuggets.

“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. – Christopher Robin to Winnie the Pooh, written by A. A. Milne

“What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters to what lies within us.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” — Dale Carnegie

Shilpa Bhasin Mehra is a legal consultant based in Dubai and the founder of Legal Connect

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