What is resilience? In Dhaka at a seminar an example of resilience was given by a Scottish friend – the determination of the Bengali nation to overcome the adversity caused by floods year after year.
Pakistan’s determination to face the wrath of floods and earthquakes is resilience. My friend who lost his only son and could not have any children, when she decided to open a chain of schools for underprivileged children showed resilience.
One is helpless against nature. To accept the happening and move on to do good for everyone with a smile is resilience.
Sometime back stuck in traffic in Lahore due to VVIP movement, my friend from London had asked me as to why do we put up with the attitude of VVIP. In London this would not be allowed. I had replied we are resilient not like you making noise all the time. She had replied is this how you define resilience. I had remained silent but had wondered what is resilience.
When in Karachi, violence is at its climax and I decide to lead a normal life. Is it resilience or indifference to the suffering of many? Is the violence in Karachi inflicted by nature that we have to put with it? By going on with my life my satisfaction is that I am defeating those responsible for violence as they want life to be at a standstill. Is resilience being insensitive to suffering or supporting the end of suffering by showing leadership and determination? I do not know.
On TV, I watch hundreds being killed in bomb blasts and I continue my life. Is this resilience or being heartless? While many die, I go out to have dinner as life must go in spite of the deaths at the hands of bombers. Is this resilience? Do I deserve to be called a human?
I do not know. Do I want to know? Yes I want to. How long can I fool myself? I want to lead a real resilient life. I want to be proud of my green passport. I want to hold my head high and say yes we did make the land of pure a peaceful country. From self pity and being pitied by others I want to move on to being the pride of the world.
I know I can do it but not alone.
It will have to be we and not I showing to the world what a resilient nation Pakistanis are. I at times wonder as to how a country full of people with ability and ambition – people who have excelled nationally and internationally being not able to achieve its true potential. A Malaysian friend once declared you are country full of stars thus not a star nation. I wonder whether by being a nation, by being WE and not I can we achieve what we had set out to achieve – a land of pure the pride of its citizens the benchmark of excellence for the world?