For Today and Tomorrow
The room was full of smoke. There were 8 people who all almost looked like the same. Their faces gave a clear picture of a person who is very sharp, cunning and wicked, with the signs of greed to be read clearly. They all belonged to the same profession; they were all robbers. They had different fields; some robbed the houses, some robbed the shops, one was a pick-pocket and two members always preferred bigger and handsome hunts like banks and other financial institutions. Almost ten years ago, they did not know each other but with the passage of time, they became very close friends of each other due to the similarity in their profession.
Just like the profession, they had inherited the same nature as well and thus they enjoyed the company of each other. They regularly scheduled such gatherings in which they used to sit and enjoy the company of each other. Mostly, they liked to share their experiences with each other and often laughed at the stupidity of people. Their mutual gathering had also benefited them a lot. They used to learn a lot from each other as how to trick the security guards or police and other similar factors. In order to share their experiences, learn from each other and of course to get a moral support, they used to arrange such gatherings. They had to be very vigilant all the time and thus could not afford to have close links with other members of the society so this company of each other gave them with a unique opportunity to open up their breasts. But now they were busy in playing cards, drinking tea and smoking cigarette in an atmosphere of freedom and carelessness which is a very rare commodity in lives of such people.
The above scenario is not limited for a group of thieves only. Almost all the people who are related to the same profession or share something develop and strengthen a bound that gets mature with repeated interaction. Some drug addicts used to sit with each other for numerous reasons. First, to enjoy the company of each other because after one takes drug and under its effect his mind and emotions start flying, he feels the need of a person who should listen to him and cherish his joy. They laugh with each other, boast to each other and on their turns, listen to each other. Seeing two drug addicts enjoying the company of each other after they have taken the drug is really interesting because they talk and laugh in a way as if they are not in this world and worries and problems of it has nothing to do with them.
Second, they realize that one of them would always be short of drug and thus other should be there to provide with the drug and may be many more but no doubt, their bound and interaction is very impressive.
Many possible answers come to us when we ask a question as why do they strive and struggle too much to accompany each other. First and most important is to sustain and protect their status-quo or their present situation. Usually people who are in bad habits clearly realize that they and their habits are not acceptable in the society and members of the society always look forward to demolish their setup so they also feel the need of remaining united and assisting each other. They share common habits and routines that bring them close to each other and the similarity in their thoughts and personalities also has share in this commonness.
A quality or an atmosphere; be it good or bad, depends on the practice, attention and repetition for its promotion. If a good quality is repeated and practiced repeatedly, it slowly and gradually wins the acceptance by the majority and becomes the permanent part of the personality and habits of almost all the members of a society. Similarly, when a bad habit or trend is adopted by some members of the society and it is left unchecked to extend its influence to more and more members of the society, it grows to become a monster, threatening the good virtues of the society.
It has been repeatedly mentioned in many quotations that world is suffering losses not due to the activeness of the bad people but due to the silence and inactiveness of the good.
It is always very tragic to notice that people who are having good qualities, have impressive ideas and thoughts to be shared with others that can change the fate of people and the nations and those who have high spirits towards good works are often found to be working alone and without due cooperation of each other.
Once, the Urdu poetry of Indo-Pak greatly suffered by the mutual differences and skirmish of the poets. Instead of developing new thoughts and produce a constructive poetry, poets were busy in either praising themselves or wasted all their efforts to belittle their opponent poets. This all resulted in the decline of the standards of Urdu poetry.
When two robbers, drug addicts or similar people sit with each other, they accept each other without considering their shortcomings and negative habits and personality traits. They always keep their eyes on the positive side of the picture.
People who must come close to each other and get into an interaction need to crash down the idol of their thoughts and personalities that prohibit them from getting close to each other. In this way, they may have to suffer many sacrifices and leave out their prejudices and previous perceptions.
Societies where governments are not functioning properly, majority of the people are corrupt and masses are passing through continuous miseries, remarkable change can be brought by the affluent members of society who are in position of carrying out projects in the fields of education, social welfare and other for the betterment of the marginalized members of the society. We have witnessed such impressive examples in different parts of the world. The Grameen Foundation of Bangladesh made positive effects on the lives of millions of poor members of the society in Bangladesh.
Similarly, Christian missionary schools have rendered praise-worthy services in promotion of education in a number of third world countries. Very recently, Turkish philanthropists have done impressive work in the fields of education, rehabilitation of calamity-hit people of poor countries and many more.
It is the call of time that rich and affluent members of our society need to come together in uplifting their fellow citizens in the field of education and social welfare. This can be done in the form of individual efforts and on collective basis by making foundations and welfare organizations. We will have to take some steps by our own instead of waiting for government if we want to change our present and future.
Mahmood Hassan Quraishi is a permanent writer of the Afghanistan express daily.