• By : Syed Irfan Iqbal

An expert driver always looks far ahead and far- behind in order to find space for a smooth drive. He is not supposed to stop the car at every second to check the mechanics or electrical parts of the vehicle and he is not either supposed to be whimsical enough to stop the vehicle after every short interval and assess air pressure or to know the condition of the road.

He keeps going with the belief that the destination is his fate and the vehicle he is driving is reliable. The small bumps on the road, sudden breakdown of the vehicle, unpredictable mood swings in other cases severe traffic congestion, heavy rain, blistering snow, and fast storm do not let the committed and honest driver stop the vehicle. He keeps going how slow it may be with a belief that his destination is his fate. He knows well that these obstacles are part and parcel of the path. He knows that water never flows in reverse but always flows forward to be part of something bigger and something for which water is destined.

A common saying is ‘ Life is a journey’ Have we ever wondered why life is not termed or called walking, swimming, flying, eating, watching and other never endings ‘ INGs’. Realistically, the Journey of real-life comprises all these little activities. While driving for the real-life journey; once we are on the road of the world; let’s drive the vehicle of our lives confidently with a belief that this vehicle is bound to meet a pre-destined destination or self-made goals.

We as drivers of our lives should look far ahead – adopting a futuristic approach does not allow us to be entangled in petty disputes and petty egoism. As, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah knows that his struggle is for the future of millions of humans, as Martin Luther King realizes that his fight against racism is for future generations to come; Hellen Keller – American Person with disabilities, foresees that her struggle would be a beacon of light for Persons with disabilities and also for those who have eyes but are unable to see! Looking far ahead keeps them propelling and struggling to work for millions of humans to come.

Opposite to the ‘look-far ahead approach’ is Looking far behind. It is not keep entangled in near negative past, daily discouragement, daily little whimsicality of others and some trouble of the past or some obstacle ( it may be self-made or of the external environment). Looking far behind does not mean ignoring the bad past but it means distancing themselves from the past and never forgetting and ignoring the lessons from history. It teaches us not to reverse, again and again, the vehicle of life. As we just look far behind just to keep us aware and keep us envisioned how to avoid past blunders, and how not to be prisoners of past shortcomings and past misfortunes. Past is to learn the lessons and following these lessons in the present makes the prospects of the future bright. Edison would not have been able to lighten the darkness of the world with his invention of the Bulb if he had kept on reversing the previous attempts again and again; he had learnt from each experience of the past; but he keeps on going and going. Ultimately, he blessed the nights of billions of people with ‘Light’.

Have we ever wondered? What is the actual difference between middle-class vehicles and super-rich luxury vehicles? Both types of vehicles have to traverse the roads, both vehicles are supposed to have expert drivers and a pre-destined or pre-decided destination. The difference, in fact, lies spacious inner ambience, sound and noise-free inner environment, and best of all inner safety measures to keep the passengers safe in case of an accident. In life, it is inner space, inner peace, inner calm, inner commitment and inner strength that save us from external accidents and from those over which we do not have control.

Last but not least, life on this road of the world faces ups and downs, sometimes it breaks down suddenly, sometimes, it does not let us find our destination, and sometimes it does not let us adjust to the outer ambience (as large vehicles are not made for small streets), sometimes our fellow passengers find us faithless, sometimes we lost belief on the journey and it is also possible that sometimes we realize that we have been traversing on such roads which were not made for us. In such testing times, it is inner resolve, commitment, confidence and belief that do not let us to bow down In front of momentary obstacles. It is the strength of inner ambience with which we can swim across oceans of troubles, seas of oppression and streams of disappointments. The story of human struggle is a manifestation of this reality that Man always keeps his journey continued on the path of improvement and making the inner and outer world more tolerable and adjustable. Man-made wonders of the world reflect that looking far ahead and looking far behind is the approach that we need to traverse the roads of life with the confidence that we all have destinations to reach conditionally we avoid the tendency of reversing the flow of life.

Let’s resolve that our journey of life remain continued as bird keeps on flying to be at home in the evening, as flowers keep on blossoming without fear of fading away forever, as birds keep on signing, and as trees keep on bearing fruits not for themselves but for others.

  • Syed Irfan Iqbal is (Researcher at Parliament House, Islamabad)
  • syedirfaniqbal65@gmail.com

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