By Farkhanda Qaiser
On this blessed night – Laila tul Qadar – the 27th of Ramazan, I sit down in front of my laptop and endeavor to spread whatever little I’ve learnt from life’s lessons.
Allah says in the Holy Quran (I tried looking for the exact verse but couldn’t find it so if any of you know which Surah and Ayah it is, you’re welcome to share it) and here is the gist of it:
They have eyes but they do not see, they have ears but they do not hear because their hearts have been sealed off.
So however much I might blog or cry myself hoarse about the traits of successful nations, if you do not wish to learn and change yourselves, then it’s all in vain. So the point remains, it’s YOU who can decide whether you want to change or not. You are guarding your gate of change and only you have the key to it. No motivational speaker, no scholar, no teacher, no parents and no friends can make you take that step. It’s solely in your power.
THE IMPORTANCE OF ‘I’
Here is a joke that you might have heard but probably missed out the lesson in it.
Two friends, Santa and Bunta went to give a job interview. Santa was the genius one who was pretty much confident about himself. Bunta was the average slacker who was too scared of the unknown so he asked Santa to tell him all answers after his interview. Santa, being the kind friend, agreed.
Santa’s interview starts:
Question no. 1: When was your country born?
Santa: The struggle started in 1857 and was completed by 1947.
Question no. 2: Who’s your Prime Minister?
Santa: Changes everyday but nowadays its Vajpayee.
Question no 3: What is the reason for high birth rate inIndia?
Santa: Research is going on, when I’ll know, I’ll tell you.
Perfect interview ends and Santa comes out, tells all answers to Bunta as promised.
Bunta’s interview starts:
Question no. 1: When were you born?
Bunta: The struggle started in 1857 and completed by 1947.
Question no. 2: Who’s your father?
Bunta: Changes everyday but nowadays its Vajpayee.
Question no. 3: Are you insane? What are you saying?
Bunta: Research is going on, when I’ll know, I’ll tell you.
Disastrous interview ends.
So why did Bunta fail to pass the interview? He tried to copy somebody else’s answers to his life. But that’s not how it goes. No one has your life answers. No one can tell you what to do that’ll make your life perfect. You are the only one who knows that!
It’s said that when Allah was making this earth, he asked the angels that where I should hide the life secrets. Angels said, either high up in the skies or deep down in the oceans. To that, Allah replied, no the human being is really clever, he’ll dig out the answers from these far off places. So instead the Almighty hid the life secrets in a person’s heart. Just as Iqbal says,
Apney mann main dub kay pa ja suragh-e-zindagi
Tu agar mera nahi banta, na ban, apna tou bann
And then there’s the whole concept of ‘khudi’ that Iqbal explains but lets leave that for another time.
So the importance of I is evident from the fact that even in the aero plane, when they’re giving the security instructions about wearing the oxygen mask in case of low atmospheric pressure, they emphasize upon the fact that first you should wear the mask yourself and only then move on to helping others.
Moreover, even in the most selfless statement that you can make, in which you’re laying down your heart for someone in which you say, ‘I Love You’ to someone, you say I first!
So once you’ve learnt the great significance that you have in deciding the course that your life takes and once you have mustered up the will and courage to take your life to greater heights and once your eyes and ears are open then you start learning.
As it’s said, ‘When the student is ready, then the master appears.’
In this second of series of blogs where we’re trying to learn the traits of successful nations from countries like Japan which survived the nuclear blasts and emerged to become one of the biggest economies of the world, we’ll talk about the conscience of a nation!
Following the Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami of March 11 this year, there was an accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant that led to power failure in some part of the country. This power failure had occurred inJapanafter 40 years. (Well yes, the last power failure inPakistanwas probably just a few minutes ago) However the way that people reacted to this failure was simply remarkable. People who were shopping in malls and had picked up stuff from the shelves, kept the stuff back and silently moved out of the shops. This is called ‘conscience’ of a nation.
We sure are lacking in it. We have grown so used to doing illegal stuff that it no longer seems wrong.
We cheat in exams. So what? Everyone does it.
We break traffic rules. So what? I’m getting late for office
We litter around in public places. So what? The sweeper will pick up the stuff anyway.
We are hardly ever punctual for our meetings. So what? No one is on time.
We don’t use environment friendly fuels in automobiles. So what? Am I responsible for the entire planet?
We raise prices during Ramazan and Eid. So what? This is the best time for earning profits.
We sell poor stuff for higher prices. So what? The customer must know the difference himself.
We accept not-properly-titled receipts from shopkeepers. So what? The government must keep a check on all retailers not paying taxes, why do I bother?
We pick up random stuff from the shelves in shop and don’t return them on their proper places. So what? The shopkeepers can sort them out, I don’t have time.
We steal electricity. So what? Electricity is a national resource and public property, I’m not stealing it.
Why do we not bother about all these issues?
Oh, as if one person doing his responsibility will make a difference.
If I tell a shopkeeper to give me a proper receipt or else I won’t purchase from his shop and even if he does so, what difference would that have made? The government will get only a small amount of tax from my receipt. All other thousands of customers who come and go daily and don’t ask for titled receipts, theirs was a larger amount that didn’t go into tax. Hah! There you go! No use doing this activity and besides our government is corrupt anyway. Whatever tax we give them to be spent on the country, they use it to buy expensive sports cars and import huge pets from abroad. So we’d rather not give any tax at all.
Well, we should be doing our part of the deal and be satisfied that we are listening to our conscience and doing the right thing. Such behavior may impress others and you never know how many followers you might have. Moreover, you have NO right to blame the government when you yourself are not fulfilling your responsibility!
So it all boils down to the fact that you must take a step in the right direction not caring whether it’s enough or not. You must listen to the call of your conscience and be content that you’re doing the right thing. After all a society is made of individuals and if every individual starts doing this then we sure will have a revolution in Pakistan!
Remember me in your prayers especially that I and all my fellow medical students pass in our Profs. Ameen!
P.S. The major content of the blog is taken from the motivational session ‘Magic with Medicine‘ by Umair Jaliawala held on 1st August 2011 in KEMU Auditorium, Lahore.