Friends, Bloggers and Countrymen….lend me your ears (and eyes):
A few hours ago, I returned after a traditional trip to the heart of the city to watch the ‘lights’ in celebration of the 62nd independence day of the country and it warmed my heart to see people dancing and cheering with joy. Later in the night, I switched on the TV and all across the country I could see men and women cheering and celebrating their independence day with infectious zeal…all for one cause: Pakistan. And that left me wondering: what makes the love for one’s country all encompassing and so overwhelming despite one’s crisis, problems and challenges? More importantly, why do we need to ‘go green’ and wear the Pakistani flag only around the month of August? Is love for one’s country limited to only as far as waving the flag is concerned or is it much more? Why can our hearts and minds not remain for and on Pakistan for the rest of the year too?
62nd year of independence and still standing, as a friend stated on her facebook page. I also heard many stating with a tongue in cheek: Na bijli hai na paani hai, phir bhee dil Pakistani hai (there is no electricity, no water, but my heart still sings Pakistan!). Perhaps it is time to really and practically realize what we can do for our country, rather than fret over what our country can do for us. I do not have a long wish list to share with you all, just a few contributions we can all make.
For starters, maybe all of us, and I really mean each and every one of us, make a very conscious decision not to clutter the parks, markets and places we go to, just as much as the effort we put in cleaning our own home! If Pakistanis can abide by the law outside Pakistan, they can be conscious citizen back here too. I see no reason why not. We may not have implementation of laws in place, but at the end of the day, it is us the citizens who make or break the law too. So why not start from today and really make an effort to keep our surroundings clean. Teach our children to pick up the litter after a picnic in the park, tidy up after a birthday party at a public place and definitely not throw anything outside the car window!! Small steps but they bring great changes!! Think Clean. Think Green.
Respect the individual, especially those at the bottom of the food-chain so to speak. Respect the policeman who dares to stop your car because you do not have your seat belt on. He has been standing in the heat all day long, but it is the gentleman sitting in the air conditioned car who fumes up with rage because he has been stopped by the policeman! The poor man is only performing his duty. The least we can do is to comply and to respond with respect. Respect the cook who stands in the melting heat to cook food for you and your family, while you slouch and chatter away in the living room. Ask the value of house-help versus self-help to all your family living abroad, most of whom do not have the luxury of affording house help and need to do everything on their own, starting from cooking, to cleaning, to washing to running around and finish their daily chores. Thank your lucky stars for living in a country that still provides you with the luxury of having more support staff than the number of people living in the house! That’s a royal lifestyle, just in case you are missing the point.
There is no denying the fact that our country is currently in one of its biggest crisis, ever. It is important for an average citizen like you and me to stand up and be counted. Being the silent minority of patriotic but indifferent citizens will not help us, will not help raise our concerns over things that are close to our heart and history will definitely not forgive the silence of the educated, enlightened and conscious minority of this country. Instead of constantly complaining and grumbling over the failure of the state and its machinery, perhaps we should keep doing our bit by enacting the change we wish to see around us. Perhaps it is time we start justifying our own job descriptions, start delivering at our own micro units because every little drop counts!
And last but not the least, lets us not, for even one second doubt the integrity of Pakistan or the future of Pakistan. It is heart breaking to see how convenient it is to declare Pakistan’s disintegration in one random rush of moment by average citizens like you and me. Let us not forget that we are the future! We are the ones who will make or break the country, not the circumstances. Let us make peace with the past, and on this 62nd birthday of our country, let us all do our own bit to be able to tell our children in the future what role we played in the current crisis.
Let us finally be worthy of Pakistan.
I am remembering Shakespeare’s Mark Antony as I mourn the loss of true patriotism in our country and only hope for people to rise above all differences and celebrate this Independence truly green from their hearts, not just appearances!
O judgment! Thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason. Bear with me;
My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
And I must pause till it come back to me.