When it’s dark enough, you can see the stars!

I don’t want to bring in your notice what everybody is already talking about these days – the political, economical and social crisis our country is going through. We all know them very well as we are living it everyday. Each day we are reminded of these crises while shopping, driving, even while chatting with friends and colleagues. Our news channels keep telling us everyday how worse the situation is. They always have a tape to run from what’s going wrong and what’s not working in this country. The most terrible makes the news. Watching these channels, it seems nothing is working in this country. But is it the truth? If nothing is working why do we still exist on the face of earth?

Insufficient supply of basic utilities, ever increasing inflation, worsening road traffic, bomb blasts, religious fanaticism, regionalism, women issues, terrible stories…who is denying these problems don’t exist? But do they have to be repeated each and everyday through every mouth? Is there an end to it? Is this way bringing a solution to all these problems or just worsening it?

We are so much obsessed with what is going wrong that we miss out what is working. Why can’t our media focus on promoting our culture and tourism? Has Pakistan ceased to become a country with beautiful landscapes and magnificent Mughal architecture? Where are the lovely folk tunes, dances, colourful dresses? Have people forgotten to dance or play their instruments? The people from interior regions of Pakistan don’t have only the stories of women abuse or feudal exploitations; they have innumerable stories of hospitability, loyalty, sincerity and bravery. But how often do we hear about it?

Unfortunately, these beautiful stories are dying. Because our government is too busy in doing wrongs and then defending it, our media is too busy in covering government’s wrongs and our people are too busy watching all this.

The inappropriate proportion of terrible stories told against the stories of our achievements, has made us a hopeless nation. You will hear it every now and then: ‘Pakistan is a terrible country’, ‘this country has no future’, and ‘God knows what will happen to this country, it can’t stand on its own anymore’. It certainly won’t, not because of all these terrible things happening but only because we have lost our ‘hopes’. When a nation loses hope, it loses everything. We blame politicians, government, media, other people - everybody but ourselves for all what’s happening in this country. I think it’s too much of criticism and blame game now. We should put an end to that.

Countries are made up of people. They represent each individual that shares its identity. When you complain about a corrupt Politian, it’s good to first make sure you don’t corrupt your office hours with your leisure time, if provided a chance. When you blame government about the dirty streets; make sure you don’t throw out wrappers on streets while driving. The other day while driving I saw a display of Pakistani flag with Mickey Mouse printed on them. When we are left with no respect for our country and its ideology, why do we expect the world to do so? Change your self first, and then spread this change. Don’t adopt a destructive, hopeless blaming game.

The way I see it, each day a Pakistani make his living is an achievement. With countless inconveniences and obstacles, it’s amazing to see how we manage to survive. Security threats, increasing inflation, scarcity of basic utilities are just a few obstacles to name. We are a nation with majority of people who choose not to waste their times in pubs and useless leisure. Majority of us has a drive to achieve - achieve things to improve our living. Why is the world not told of the stories of our drive for achievement, why are we not appreciated for our ability to cope with the worst of all crises? I wonder if we survive this sort of socio-political crisis, what we would become - irresistible and invincible.

They say if something disturbs you, change it and if you can’t, then change the way you think about it. Complaining about it won’t do you any good. Every change starts from changing one own self. We can change the whole world by a random act of kindness.

Happy Pakistan Formation Day!

Bushra Naz
Published in Daily Mail on Tuesday 18 August 2009 http://dailymailnews.com/0908/18/Editorial_Column/DMArticle.php#2

Getting inspired by my own reflection

What draws us towards a person? Why do we look up to certain people or qualities in others? Why do we get inspired? (picture on left: 'Inspiration' painted by me)

Anything that inspires us in others is a reflection of our own selves. We often think that our source of inspiration is external, out there in another person. But the reality is that the very reason we get inspired by something is that a part of it resides within us. They are hidden some where deep down us and more often we’re not even aware of their presence. They have some connection to our embedded dreams - who we wanted to be in real.

At times something inspires us but we look up to it so much that we end up thinking we can’t really come up to that, or we see it as impossible. These are only the impediments we put to ourselves. We set our own boundaries. Impossible is what we define as impossible.

Every one of us has his/her special part to do in this world and we’re programmed accordingly. We are born with all the basic instincts and qualities required to achieve that. However, on our way to our destiny, we come across people, barriers and failures. But they are all programmed to come in our way to refine and shape us, so that we could fit in the key hole of the door to our dreams - our destiny. The things that inspire us help us in becoming exactly the person required to do that special task. It makes us the specialist of our assigned task.

So next time you’re inspired of something, don’t just think it’s not in your reach to come up to that. You’re getting inspired because it’s part of your dream. It’s something you see when you look yourself in the mirror - your own reflection. Something inside you wants to be like that. That thing was searching for some answers, had known them already but a manifestation of your answers outside yourself is just to remind you of your destiny - only to make you agree to that.

You don’t need to copy the source of your inspiration to fulfil your dream. All you have to do is to do it your way, because your way is the best way ever needed to achieve the special task you’re assigned to do. Always remember, no teacher can teach you unless you have a thirst of the subject in yourself. No escort can guide you unless you are curious about the destination your self. Your thirst and your curiosity are part of you; they have their origins in you, instead of in the teacher or the escort. They can only intensify it. The rest is your job.

Life is strange. Often we realise when we explore others we explore ourselves.

By Bushra
1413 hours
7 August 2009
Published in Daily Mail newspaper on 11 August 2009 http://dailymailnews.com/0908/11/Editorial_Column/DMArticle.php#2