– By Syed Irfan Iqbal
Nations are in race: to be economic power, to be winner in the race of amassing weapons of mass destruction, to be influential in technological fields; to be unmatchable in every contour and every nation is competing and running to be better than others.
Similarly, the merciless corporate sector is breathing in the thick fog of competition; brand supremacy is modern mania. Educational achievements: a road of cut throat competition; Every individual living in modern cities is running as he is being chased by many; running for his comfort ; running for his livelihood ; running for his life ; even competing with global warming to take breathe in clean and pure air.
Have strong heart and observe all around! Individuals competing in Homes, in offices, in play grounds, in business centers. Politicians are competing for power; each organ of state is competing for substantial chunk in decision making and influence; children are competing in schools, in debates, getting grades and marks.
The list of this madness goes on like ever running water of ocean. Behold! Social media; a new universe of competition where ratings, subscribers, viewers, comments pushing most of us on the verge of insanity. Look at Media as it is in cutthroat competition to break the news come what may!
Worst of all competition is to have large and spacious houses, luxury vehicles and marriage, birthdays; even graveyards have prominent graves to soothe the souls of those who survive .Thus, competition does not spare us even after death. This global mania of ‘Competition’ has eroded away the very dignity of being value-oriented in this age of ‘C’ as C for ‘Capitalism’ and C for ‘Competition’ both have already pushed us too far even to imagine about values, traditions and culture. Let us cross the bar of time and meet with personalities whose names are engraved in hearts and minds of millions and millions, the personalities whose actions and deeds are sparkling the souls of millions and millions fellow humans.
Let us ask respectfully to Quaid-e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah with whom was he competing? Probably No One. He was struggling; he was daring every antagonistic force. He knows well Competing with enemies make us enemies alike. Definitely, Quaid had have never imagined to compete with antagonists. Definitely, he achieved the best Of best qualities remain perseverant and consistent, dedicated to his and millions of humans’ cause, by standing tall in every adversity.
With achieving excellence in his personal life, he led the nations on the path of freedom and independent. He did not compete but contributed substantially and still every Pakistani is praying for him as his contribution allowed millions of women, men and children to take breathe in free land i.e. Pakistan.
Let us move to another continent: Had Rosa Park (American civil Rights Activist) been competing with Ku Klux Klan ( American white supremacist group), she would never have been alive in annals of history. She denied conceding the prevailing notion of segregation, suppression and denial of basic rights. It was fearless act of personal strength and she is alive in heart of every coloured soul for her contribution and struggle for imparting respect and meanings to their lives. Let us travel in literary world,
Sadaat Hussain Manto: a writer who exposed the social taboos so loudly that his voice is still resonated in Urdu speaking region. Definitely! He had been honest to his thoughts and remained steadfast. His written words still speak clearly to expose dark realities of life. He was never in completion with any other literary figure. He just kept on moving in circle of his own interest and give voice to such issues which had never been talked about in close rooms.
The subcontinent had been a place where many Muslim Rulers competed for throne but one Muslim Ruler having shortest tenure just five years (1540–45) Sher Shah Suri stood tall and prominent due to his contributions: introduced systematic bureaucratic administration, built roads, rest houses, and wells for his people and being tolerant to non-Muslims. Let us be in present! Malala Yousif Zai; An insignificant student rose to international fame by rising herself against suppression and fear of Taliban.
She did not compete! She rose to the occasion which enable her to become the youngest child education activist and thus her contribution to raise awareness for girls ‘education is sparkling the lives of hundreds of girls with knowledge and education. Nature is the best guide. Do flowers compete to bloom? No! Every flower has its time to blossom and time to fade away, every tree grows not to copy other tree but with its own fate. Dose falcon fly high rose above all other birds to defeat them. Definitely, No! Falcon and Eagle bestowed more strength so their approach is different from other birds. Observing lives of effective personalities and to the phenomenal Nature all around us ; it is as clear as sunlight of summer sun that life is to contribute and achieve whatever we decide or fate decides for us. Let us pause and rethink to contribute at whatever level we can in our lives.
Have we ever wondered! Why graveyards are so green and why graveyards are full of large and shadowy trees! In fact, our dead bodies get decomposed and made the land fertile where these are buried. We humans contribute to Earth’s ecosystem even after our deaths. Let us be contributor in whatever opportunity life offers us!
Let this unleashed capitalism and materialism not diminish us to be a contributor.
- Author Syed Irfan Iqbal is a researcher in Parliament House Islamabad.