Sunday, February 22, 2009

Down in the dumps!


“A bomb exploded in… killing fourteen people and injuring dozens”
“The Economic crisis is worsening and the country is likely to be bankrupt…”
“Tension is high between the two nations and they are at the brink of war”
“The country is facing its worst shortage of gas and electricity”

The country is full of depressing and dispiriting news these days. Snippets of the evening news can be very disheartening and put a damper on all festivities and, sadly, it’s not just the news. People all over the country can be heard saying that Pakistan is breathing its last breaths and is sure to become extinct soon, lost in the pages of history. Who wouldn’t be depressed if they are surrounded by such awful news? One feels like curling up within blankets and blocking out everything bad that is happening in the country and beyond its borders. But, alas, this is not the solution. We might forget about it for awhile, like while watching a movie, but reality is sure to come back as soon as the words "The End" appear on the screen. The situation is getting bleaker and bleaker and just sticking your head in the ground like an ostrich won’t help.  

Suicide bombings, lack of security, broken roads, bubbling gutters, load-shedding, corrupt leaders, unemployment, abuse of human rights, child labor, illiteracy, corrupted minds and souls - the list of problems is unending! It is difficult to remain normal and sane amid all the chaos. But whenever I get lost in such thoughts a tiny voice in my head says: Hey, stop! Wait a minute! Have you opened your own despairdotcom or something? Hey! Wake up! Me? Yeah, you! Can you think of nobody but yourself? Hey! Hey! Wake up and take a peek into the world! 

Take a peek into the life of some of the African countries, like Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Darfur (region of Western Sudan). Zimbabwe has the highest rate of inflation… so much so that you cannot afford to buy a loaf of bread even if you are a millionaire! The crisis in Darfur is just worsening, becoming increasingly violent and the ethnic, religious killings in Nigeria are also very horrible. And how about taking a tour of the Middle East? The Palestinians have been fighting for their land since the 1960s and the once peaceful Iraq has been ripped apart by warfare. And what about our next-door neighbor… why not step across the border into Afghanistan for a cup of tea? No, wait a minute, this country has seen many wars and is still suffering from their after affects. So, do you still think Pakistan is a hopeless country that will soon be wiped off the map? Think again.  

The fact of the matter is that Pakistan is still a beautiful country with a great culture and friendly people. Of course it has a few flaws and rough edges but, hey, it is our country – our beloved Pakistan- and we have to support it through thick and thin. Abandoning it during its darkest hours is an act of cowardice. A little struggle today is bound to produce a lot of fruits and goodies in the future. The tunnel is dark but if we keep digging and shoveling the big boulders out of the way we will definitely reach the light at the end of the tunnel –perhaps even stumble across some diamonds and rubies! 

All we have to do is keep hope and be proud of Pakistan. Think of what you can do for Pakistan and act now. Not later, right now! Educate children who cannot afford to go to school, try to clean your neighborhood alleys and overflowing dumpsters with a couple of friends. Start saving water and electricity by using only the amount you require. There are so many things we can do… all you need is will power, a dash of spirit and some sprinkle of hope and faith. Cheerio!

"If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else"~ Booker T. Washington (1856-1915)

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