Tag Archives: motivation

Horror, Horror! Who is the cruelest person in the world?

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By Farkhanda Qaiser

Children paying homage to the young martyrs

Children paying homage to the young martyrs

I cannot describe the gut-wrenching massacre at the Army Public School, Peshawar nor can I make a politically or historically correct analysis about the losses suffered by Pakistan in the war against terror. I can only express my feelings as a common Pakistani citizen. In the past few days, I have gone from shock to horror to grief and then again to shock (as more pictures of the gruesome inhumane act were released on the electronic media).

Peace is the ONLY way forward

Peace is the ONLY way forward

All around me, I see people losing composure. Whether it is news reporters covering the ghastly incident or anchors on Television programs; little school going children or their parents, everyone is in tears! Ever since 2001, there have been above 14000 terrorist attacks in Pakistan in which almost 50,000 innocent people lost their lives but why has this reaction not come earlier? Why did we not shed tears on the merciless killings of Hazara Shias or those of Ahmadis or Christians? Or even of mosque-going Muslims? Or of Pakistani army and military forces? Why did we not realize at that point that we were dealing with monsters and not humans? I know why. Because we are a nation whose conscious is fast asleep and we need loud drum beating to wake up. Simple alarm bells are not enough for us. When the first terrorist attack was justified on the basis of sectarianism or superior knowledge of ‘Islam,’ that is when alarm bells should have gone off in our minds that something is not right. That is when we should have tried to put a stop to this senseless mindset. But we didn’t. We kept on waiting because the ‘terror’ had not yet reached our doorstep. We waited and that is why we have been brought to this black day of 16th December 2014.

When even schools are not safe

When even schools are not safe

That day teenage school going students lost their carefree attitude forever. Their school became a shooting spot where they were the hunted ones. However that is not why all of us are in mourning. No, we are too selfish for that. The reason our parents cry is because they feel that it could have been their ‘own’ kids. The reason why you and I cry is because we feel that it could easily have been ‘us’ instead of ‘them’. It could have been my friends whose dead bodies piled up on me would act as a shield for me. It could have been my favorite teacher who was burnt alive in front of me. It could have been your principal who preferred to die rather than save her own self. It could have been you hid under a bench and fearing the approaching black boots. Yes that is why we all bemoan. Because now we feel the ‘terror’ has truly reached our threshold.

We are terrified and we feel helpless. There is nothing we can do, our politicians are too corrupt and self-centered, we lament. Our borders are too porous to contain the foreign terrorists, we grumble. This is not our war, it has been enforced on us, we protest. We lament and grumble and protest. We point the accusatory finger at others. But did we realize that the remaining four fingers were pointing at our own selves? Oh, this is sure to raise a few eyebrows. How are we to blame, you ask.

We are to blame because we have failed to identify our enemy and even if identified, have taken too soft a stance on him. ‘He’ is the cruelest person in the world. He can finish nations like a rot eats wood. And if we fail to stop him now, then indeed he will finish us too. Every last one of us! Well, I know that Pakistan was created on 27th Ramazan and that it is only the second state after Madina that was acquired in the name of Islam. But even this ‘holy’ background will not save us. Because remember that

Khuda nay aaj tak us qoum ki haalat nahin badli jo qoum khud apni haalat na badlay

(God has never changed the fortunes of a nation that failed to turn the tide itself.)

This is one fact that we need to accept with all our hearts and minds. We will definitely and surely perish if we don’t stop this deadly enemy! So WAKE UP Pakistanis! This is the time for immediate action. We don’t have ‘7 days’ for an action plan.

No more Intolerance

No more Intolerance

   Our enemy is within us. He is the ‘mindset’ who believes that only he is practicing the right brand of Islam and the remaining people are infidels. He doesn’t stop here. He justifies killing people because they were not following his version of ‘Shariah.’ However we need to realize that this mindset did not occur over night. It evolved slowly. It started from the time when we became intolerant of people who were different from us whether in political or religious views. I see it every day when youngsters like me indulge in meaningless arguments on social media viciously attacking the opponents. I see it when every minor, harmless act is brutally subjected to scrutiny and questioned whether it’s Islamic or not. People ask what use is burning candles or keeping vigils when hundreds have died. Oh please, stop being so narrow minded! If you express your feelings about a tragedy by keeping a Facebook status or by turning your profile picture black, then so be it. If I express myself through a blog then why can’t I? If someone else tries to remember the innocent martyrs by lighting candles then what’s wrong with it? Islam is a religion for all times and all regions of the world. Do not limit it with your boxed thinking. And the best way to serve Islam is to learn about it so that you don’t besmirch it with your ignorance. So if you really want to do something to end terrorism in Pakistan then start by increasing knowledge about Islam. Read Quran and Hadith. Learn about the life events of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his companions. Only then would you realize the true values of our religion.

Another dimension of our defective thinking which has made us an intolerant nation is being judgmental about others. We are constantly judging people around us and passing our ‘expert’ opinion about whether they’d end up in paradise or hellfire. Please change this attitude now before it brings more destruction for us. Only Allah knows our ultimate resting place. There have been many incidences mentioned in Ahadith where extremely pious men were sent to hellfire because of some bad habit or other. Or apparently devious people were sent to paradise due to some hidden good attribute. Know this that we are not ‘all-knowing.’ We don’t know the intentions and all the life circumstances of ANY person (even if it’s someone very close to us). So if we don’t know this then we can’t pass the right judgment about anyone. Besides, it would be so much better to spend this energy and time trying to make ourselves better humans. Trust me; there is so much that needs to be done in this aspect that we would not have any time left for scrutinizing others’ actions!

Say no to hate speech

Say no to hate speech

While we change our mindset, we also need to be mindful of suspicious activities taking place around us. This was explained quite eloquently by the Interior Minister today. Finally our government has acknowledged that we are in a state of war. And no war can be won without the support of its citizens. If we become the eyes and ears of our law enforcement forces then no terrorist stands a chance against us. We should discourage and report hate speech wherever it’s being preached. We should monitor our neighborhoods and most importantly we should ask our leaders to openly condemn the enemy. There is no space left for soft mouthing. All terrorists need to be dealt with force. Enough is enough! Accountability is the best way to ensure justice in a society. Every individual must be held accountable for his deeds especially these monsters who claim to be righteous!

enough

However, even if the overall situation of the country appears dismal and hopeless, don’t lose hope. We have the best example from the young victims of the Peshawar attack. One such young boy with bullet wounds on his face said,

“Is umar me goli kha li hai. Ab kabhi goli se nahin darun ga.”

(I have been shot with bullets at this age. Now I will never be afraid of bullets!)

Other boys showed the determination to join Pakistan army and rid their country of all terrorists. If these traumatized adolescents have not lost hope then we have no excuse to be hopeless. Hard times befall all nations but only strong nations rise out of the ashes. Are we a strong nation?

 The author is a medical student.

 

 

 

 

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2011 in review

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,500 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 25 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Motivational session – Project Report

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By Farkhanda Qaiser

Background:

Society of Academic and Research Development (SARD) took an initiative to educate the young kemcolians about the importance of social responsibility by organizing an interactive motivational session, ‘Magic with Medicine.’ This event was held in collaboration with the School of Leadership (SoL) – established on July 1st, 2002 in Karachi but with an outreach all over Pakistan. SoL aims to stimulate conscious endeavor for people to discover and utilize their unquestionable ability to elevate their lives.

Objectives:

The purpose was to motivate the youth to become responsible citizens. If every individual starts doing his own duty then a conscientious society is formed where the rights of all are protected. The name ‘magic with medicine’ was chosen because the case study was taken as medical profession. The young doctors would be encouraged to spread the magic of love and humanity through their medical practice. Moreover, they would be taught the tools to become responsible, skilful and better doctors.

Speaker:

The Senior Associate of School of Leadership, Mr. Umair Jaliawala was especially flown in from Karachi for this motivational session. Mr. Jaliawala has trained over 30, 000 individuals from corporate, education, and development and public sectors. He immediately relaxes his audience, guards down, receptive to learning, before he shakes their paradigms again. His sessions are a roller-coaster journey of change, exercises/games, questions, quotes, challenges and realizations.

Staff president:

The Staff president of SARD, Professor Dr. Riaz Ahmad Warraich provided his moral support in organizing this mega event.

President SARD:

Ahsan Jahangir (4th Year)

Project director:

Farkhanda Qaiser (2nd Year)

Project team:

The project managers, Rabia Zia, Shafaq Tabassum, Iqra Ahmad, Haris bin Akhter and M. Ijaz worked very hard in holding this event.

The project assistants, Hajira Iftikhar, Rameez Irshad, Isna Batool, Humaira Sarfraz, Mohammad Bilal, Namra Tauqir, Nimrah Siddique and Anum Asad helped in announcements and promotion.

The project organizers, Shahbano, Laiba Khalid, Iqra Saeed, Seemab Touqir, Saman Goraya, Mahym Mansoor, Saira Afzal, Aushna Rasool, Mirrah Mushtaq, Maimoona Mohsin, Reema Anjum, Noor Tariq and Zara Naveed carried out hall management.

Sponsors:

This event was sponsored by Qavi Engineers and Dynamic Packaging. The major expenses were the air ticket of the speaker, banners, refreshments and certificates.

Advertisement:

This event was a huge success largely due to the immense publicity that had been carried out by the entire project team. Word was spread through sms, social media (facebook, twitter, linked in, google plus, danka.pk – Pakistan’s events guide), chart papers, flyers all over university and hospital and last but not the least announcements in all classes.Notices were pasted in all wards of Mayo Hospital to publicize this session:

 4 surgical units

 4 medical units

 Urology

 Dermatology

 Psychiatry

 Orthopedics

 OPD

Date: Monday, 1st August 2011

Venue: KEMU auditorium

Chief guests:

Staff President, Prof. Dr. Riaz Ahmed Warraich and Event Sponsor, Dynamic Packaging represented by Mr. Waqas Ashraf.

Event proceedings:

The event started at 10:30 AM. The auditorium was overflowing with students, majority of whom were kemcolians however around 40 students from other schools, colleges and universities were also present. (Superior College, Beaconhouse School, University of Central Punjab, Lahore School of Economics, Kinnaird College and many others) The programme was inaugurated by the recitation of the Holy Quran by Muhammad Fahad (2nd year). Then the event host, Farkhanda Qaiser (2nd Year) shed some light on the past achievements of SARD and also the objectives of this session. After that, the speaker, Mr. Umair Jaliawala was called on stage to begin his talk. He used audio-visual content, discussion and exercises to grab the attention of the over 350 audience jam packed in the small auditorium of KE. There were 3 stages of this session.

Stage 1: Getting Involved:

In this, Mr. Jaliawala captured the attention of everyone through exercises and examples. He explained the strength of determination and will in achieving one’s goals by citing the examples of Abdus Sattar Edhi, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Jahangir Khan. These legends started small but their thinking was not small. Their goals were huge and so was their dedication. However there is no gain without pain. This concept was elaborated by comparing with the long duration of time and pain that body builders undergo to make strong, muscular bodies. Then an activity was carried out that surprised and puzzled everyone. The speaker told all the participants to get up from their chairs and TRY to pick them up. All of them picked up the chairs. However, Mr. Jaliawala kept on insisting that do not actually pick up the chairs, rather try to pick up the chairs. And so some of the people started to pretend as if the chairs were really heavy and they were trying to pick them up. But still they were unable to please Mr. Jaliawala who finally explained that there is no such thing as trying. Either you do something or you don’t. And you can’t blame anyone else for how your life is because you yourself are capable of making all the decisions.

Stage 2: Benchmarks

After the audience had become involved and were now actually hanging on to every word, then Mr. Jaliawala moved onto the case study of Japan. In March 2011, there was a Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami which wrecked havoc in the entire country. However, the exceptional calm and dignity that the Japanese displayed in this time of crisis was remarkable. The characteristics that make nations successful were then elaborated upon in detail. Some of them were ability, grace, order, sacrifice, tenderness, training, responsible media and conscience.

Stage 3: Be responsible

Once the basic requirements had sunk in then the point was driven home by motivational videos from Dr. Patch Adams and Tedtalks. Throughout the session, there was a lot of interaction with the students which maintained their interest and piqued their curiosity. Never once did anyone leave the auditorium rather more people kept pouring in despite the fact that no more chairs were unoccupied. They were content to even sit on the floor to listen to this great motivational session and get motivated. Their enthusiasm was evident from the oft-repeated applause that punctuated the talk of Mr. Jaliawala.

At the end of this session, a shield-presenting ceremony was held. The Staff President presented a shield of appreciation to the speaker, Mr. Umair Jaliawala and the representative of the Event Sponsor – Dynamic Packaging – Mr. Waqas Ashraf. Then the SARD president gave the shield to Prof. Dr. Riaz Ahmed Warraich who’d been the chief guest and had attended the entire session.

After this ceremony, all the participants were given refreshments. The certificates were given one week later. This event was also given media coverage by waqt news, shama tv and ARY news.

Magic with Medicine

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By Farkhanda Qaiser

They say, “Doctors should be compassionate and selfless. They should serve people without even expecting a reward. Thus they should never have come on the roads to ask for a payrise because doing so adversely affected their saint-like image in the society.”

I say, “Well yes, doctors should be Munna-bhai-MBBS cum Dr-Patch-Adams-type but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a family to cater for.  A wife to look after; children to send off to good schools; sky-rocketing inflation to tend to; electricity bills to pay despite using hand fans most of the time and alot more expenses just like any middle-class person of this country!

And let’s not forget the fact that a doctor is one who has studied the most in his life. Most of them have remained toppers all throughout their school and college lives (at least the ones in my university have). They remained shut in books when their counterparts enjoyed their lives. They were the ones who went through the grinding five years of medical education but worse was still to come. The inhumane 36-48 hours continuous duties in hospitals as part of house job.  Serving people day in, day out and doing it so meticulously that sometimes their own families were neglected. After leaving many relatives sour (as perhaps a wedding or two were missed due to hospital duties); spending many a Eid in the ‘Emergency’ or preparing for the Post graduate exams; missing the childhood of their own children as the ‘Mum’ or ‘Dad’ Doctor were too busy treating others’ children to have time for their own and countless other sacrifices, THEY still expect us to sacrifice some more…We should be content with the meager amount we get for our services…We, the most skilled and most drilled section of the society should be content with a lowly paid government job…WHY? Just because we are doctors? Just because we took the Hippocratic Oath?

Are we not humans like the rest of you?

Do we not have wishes and needs?

Maybe not, because if we did, then the public would have supported us in our cause like the came out in mass to support the lawyers to restore the Chief Justice…

or Perhaps,  our cause is not flashy enough to the likes of people…

Why is it that our nation supports some causes and completely ignores others? Every single person came forward to help the flood affectees and the earthquake victims before that. Many newly wed brides gave away their gold; children stacked away their pocket money to give for the President or Prime Minister fund; businessmen donated generously;  celebrities came to telethons and generated huge amounts of cash for their suffering brothers and sisters, in short, the entire nation came together for a purpose and they succeeded to some extent. However, their actions were not sustained. After the initial dust had settled, all except a few forgot about any flood or earthquake and whether the victims still needed their help or not. That is how long-lived our motivation was!

We become excited by the preliminary gush of blood but then cooled off…

What is it that we are lacking?

A sense of social responsibility, it is. Every citizen has the duty to serve his country in any way possible. It doesn’t have to be huge. It’s just the huqooq-ul-ibaad that he has to fulfill. No littering as it might bother someone. No breaking of the queue as it could violate somebody’s rights. No lying or cheating as that would be synonymous to hurting Allah as Allah lives in everyone’s hearts. Fulfilling your positive role in the society – be helpful to your neighbors; teach the poor children for free; take out some time for the underprivileged – the orphans, the widows and the disabled. Stand up for a just cause; for the downtrodden; for the ones awaiting justice and for the ones who have been wronged. Own your heroes; make them feel loved just because they served their country in any field whatsoever, showbiz, sports, education or even social welfare. Be sincere to your job whether it’s that of a tailor or a doctor…not for the sake of appeasing people but for the sake of fulfilling your social responsibility.

If we can do this, then no force in this world can stop us from becoming a great nation.

We don’t lack the motivation; we lack the will to sustain it and the direction to use it in.

YLC Saga – Khamoshi ka Boycott – Day 2 (PART 2)

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This post was published in KELLOGS on 13/7/2011.

By Farkhanda Qaiser
We were still bubbling with the excitement of our success when breakout sessions on the many causes and implications of environmental degradation, were announced. I chose the session by Nigaar Nazar – the first Muslim woman cartoonist. Her central character is Gogi which she uses to create awareness among general public on various social and environmental issues. For this reason she has been placed on top of a list prepared by USA’s Cartoonist Rights Network. She has also done comic strips for many journals and television channels. However her work doesn’t stop here. Now, she has started an outreach programme which involves distributing the Gogi school bag among underprivileged students. This bag contains a collection of storybooks and comic strips with morals, made by her and targeting the young ones. One of her books is titled, ‘Kooray ka jin’ which emphasizes upon the importance of cleanliness. Another one deals with the threat of extremism and terrorism. Oh we should keep our children away from this nonsense, you may exclaim. But the fact of the matter is that we’re doing them more harm than good by keeping them unaware of the ground realities. They already see news of bomb blasts and suicide attacks on their idiot box everyday. Infact some of them have been direct affectees of these terror attacks too. So their education is necessary to ensure that they are not brainwashed too some day.
This was the session during which I realized the difference between a trainer and an expert. Mrs. Nigaar Nazar was an expert in her field but she was no speaker who’d know how to control the rowdy group of teenagers sitting before her. She was taking pains to explain her project while some people were simply mocking her and her work. This is our general attitude to change. We resist change and people who talk about change unless they are accomplished speakers like Umair Jaliawala and Kamran Rizvi who know how to tackle the crowd. However this must change too. We must learn to respect people for their work irrespective of the fact whether they can speak about it too. No doubt public speaking is an art which all should master. But we have no right to deride one who can not do so.
Next up was a session by Dr. Nadeem Abidi, an anesthetist and a Success Coach. He was speaking on different levels of leadership. From the dependent stage to the blame game and finally to the ‘Main hoon na’ level – where you take responsibility for everything you do and people depend on you to get a work done. Mr. Abidi then explained us a Cash flow quadrant which since then, I’ve explained to a lot of people because I found it highly helpful. Here it is:
E
Employee
B
Business Owner
S
Self employed
I
Investor
Most people never come out of the left side of the quadrant. Either they don’t take direct control of their lives or they never utilize their maximum potential, and thus the unemployment that we decry. For this we may even blame our education system which encourages people to Ace in order to land a good job. But we have to ascend to a higher level of leadership. Being anemployee means you have a job. Being self employed means you own a job. You have not more than 500 people working for you. You are a perfectionist and so are in direct contact with every single employee of yours even if it be a chowkidaar. Your employees are always less capable than you and you instruct them about each and every thing they do. This takes up a lot of time and so reduces the efficiency of the system. Moreover you are also working till late hours and so have less time for your family too. It involves 90 % people and earns 10 % money. On the other hand, the right side of the quadrant is for the people who are empowered. Business owners are people hunters. They choose the best talent to work under them. An excellent example is Bill Gates who dropped out of graduate school and now the best of the best work for his company, Microsoft. However freedom is achieved when a person becomes an investor, which involves a high degree of risk but at the same time, has great rewards too. The investor has assets which are earning money without requiring his presence. Now its 10 % manpower and 90 % money. So the choice is yours.
Mr. Nadeem Abidi has introduced a “Millionaire Mentorship Programme” for the people who wish to move to the right side of the quadrant. He was kind enough to offer this programme for free to the YLCians 2011. We really hope that more people can avail this opportunity and improve their lives for the better.
After that Mr. Abidi gave us all a power nap, while he talked to our hearts. Sleepy we were already so didn’t need much compulsion to go to sleep. Surprisingly, when he gave us all a wake up call a few minutes later, we awoke with a new vigor and without any signs of fatigue at all. I’d really like to know what he did to us. He was just talking slowly and without making much sense but we sure were refreshed after that. Then comes the best part of the session – the part that gave me conviction that I can do anything once I set my mind to it. This is what we said,
Ø Now I am the voice
Ø I will lead not follow
Ø I will believe not doubt
Ø I will create not destroy
Ø I am a force for Good
Ø I am a leader
Ø Defy the odds
Ø Set up a new standard
STEP UP…!
And say it we did. We kept saying it out louder and louder till we were convinced that we could do it. Mr. Abidi demonstrated the power of the mind and words by a simple activity. He called up a person on stage and asked him to say, “I will try to obey my parents,” while raising his one arm against force. His force was certainly lesser than when he said, “I will obey my parents.” So just by a play of words, our mind is convinced that we can or we can not do something. This is the power of the mind!
And so a great session ended. I emerged from it a completely different person and thirsting for more.
After that there was yet another activity planned by djuice. I call it the ‘Zipped up’ activity. As 2 members from every team were taken aside and their mouths were taped up. Then we teased them endlessly and tested their patience while they could not say a word about it. This enabled us to understand the helplessness that people feel when they are unable to voice their words.
However the Green day had not yet ended. We were in for still more surprises when we were told that we’d be setting up our dinner ourselves. Every team was given its own task. Some had to set up tables and dishes in thelawn. Others had to clean up after the dinner. Still others had to go around giving massages to people. But the dinner itself was very unique. It was the manifestation of a langar. There were neither any chairs or plates nor many varieties of food that we normally got at Sheraton. We were given spare newspapers in which we kept our rotis and spread daal on top of it and so ate like our poor brethren who are given free langar at darbars. It was a very spiritual experience and provoked us all to ponder over our extravagant lives and those of the less fortunate.
As djuice is a major sponsor of YLC so we performed yet another activity for Khamoshi ka boycott. Each team made 3-4 minutes plays highlighting any social aspect which needs to be corrected like traffic jams, the menace of dowry, smoking etc.
And finally we moved to the last session of the day which was by Sohail Zandani – another famous name in the training world. He had a unique style in which he asked questions and incited people to speak up. He believed in love for all and respect and appreciation for others. Further he advised us to stay hungry and stay foolish, which meant that always be eager to learn. He has established a Learning mind group for people who want to groom their personalities.

Thus the second day of YLC came to an end. Keep tuned in for more updates.