The interview of Shahbaz Taseer with CNN, the first time since he has been back from his years of captivity, left me speechless. The catharsis I felt was inexplicable. And I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who felt this way. His serene face lit up the telly; his heartfelt words moved me in ways unimaginable. Out of all the tortures he survived, when he was asked by Christiane Amanpour what exactly was it that kept him alive, I love how he stated that the only thing that kept his heart beating was patience. That struck a note with me. Patience is, after all, a virtue that has been forgotten by many of us.
Have you noticed how we get so preoccupied in our daily lives that the last thing we possess is patience for our own self, let alone others? We need everything sorted immediately, according to our picky preferences and without any time being wasted. We rush through work, we rush through meals, we rush through workouts, we rush through family gatherings… eventually, there will come a point when we realise that we, in fact, ended up rushing through our life. This man, along with Ali Haider Gilani, had the patience to survive, to live on and not give up. We should learn from this, and consequently, nurture our rushed minds. We need to take a step back from life’s daily rut and just live in the moment — be patient and let gratitude sink in.
A very famous quote from Shakespeare’s play Othello reads: “How poor are they that have not patience”. All my life, my father has repeated this seemingly insignificant phrase to me over and over again. When I was young, I didn’t comprehend as to why he emphasised on it so much or as to what exactly was he trying to inculcate in me. But with time, it has sunk in. He was, and is, persistently trying to embed in me, the worth of patience and fortitude. With a clear head and some will to weigh our options, we can overcome any Herculean hurdle, any calamity that comes our way. A salute to Taseer for reminding us of this subtle, yet easily disregarded quality, and serving as the ultimate precedent.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 19th, 2016.
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