KARACHI: In any discussion on the current law and order problems plaguing our society, one invariably gets two kinds of responses; choose to work and dream on for a better Pakistan, or take the easy route and escape to a foreign country.
I, personally, believe strongly in positive thinking; a trait that has been passed down to me by my father. I believe that positive thinking is the only way to bring about any meaningful change in our lives. Positivity is required to overcome the obstacles and trials that accompany every challenge we humans face; nothing substantial gets delivered if we approach a problem without a constructive attitude.
If we are not discouraged by initial failures, we can find a solution to every problem. Thomas Edison is a case in point. He ended up testing over 100 different metals in his laboratory in the search for an appropriate filament for his light bulb. Despite 99 failures, he firmly believed his theory to be correct –and it turned out that he was right all along. If he would’ve given up at any one of those 99 failures – the tenth, the fiftieth, or the eightieth – humankind would have had to wait indefinitely for the luxury of incandescent light bulbs.
Positive thinking can do wonders. It is a vital quality in any leader who wishes to bring about everlasting change. The Columbians got rid of the hegemony of drug mafias and South Africa conquered apartheid because leaders in both countries dared to dream of a better future for their people. The worst they could’ve done was given in to the oppression of the negative elements in their society.
Similarly, we cannot give up on Pakistan; the land that is integral to our identity.
True, it is difficult to be an optimist in the chaos and unruliness that characterizes modern Pakistan. When people are getting kidnapped, robbed and murdered, one tends to lose hope. But it is in these very circumstances that those with the resources to bring about change must not relinquish their dreams of a better Pakistan. I say this because perpetual hope is a force multiplier and has changed human destinies in the past.
If Nelson Mandela can persevere through 27 years of incarceration in an eight-by-eight foot cell, we too can find that inner reserve of strength through strong principles and a firm belief in a better tomorrow. Pakistan is much better off than apartheid South Africa. We have amazing human beings sharing the same country as us. There are Pakistanis, just like us, who refuse to be disheartened by the sad reality we live in. I believe that it is these noble souls who are our country’s saviors. These few good men will, one day, change Pakistan’s destiny forever. This is my hope, and my faith in the positivity that these men and women engender in our society.
The writer works in the corporate sector and is active on various business forums and trade bodies.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 13th, 2012.