There are umpteen gazillion stats on what this country lacks, where it needs more and how much it lags behind others. But the one thing that it is in dire need of – and yet you won’t find any corresponding stats to substantiate the urgency – is positivity.
It is such a simple, and yet simultaneously complicated, need. Just think about it – the ability to be positive, triumphs all the stats, indices, lists, metrics and yardsticks that paint this country in negativity.
All you need is that twist, to screw the nail clockwise in the positive direction. We, as a nation, just need the right kind of screwdriver.
For instance, in the United Nation’s 2018 Human Development Index’s (HDI) annual rankings that measure life expectancy, educational attainment and income, Pakistan was placed at 150 among 189 countries in September. One way of reporting that would be that there are 149 countries better on the HDI than Pakistan, but the positive way to look at it would be the fact that Pakistan is better than 39.
Similarly, Pakistan being ranked 143rd in last year’s World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap index, out of a total of 144 countries, could be soon through the lens of the 142 states ranked above Pakistan or the one below. Sure, the numbers might be slightly more tilted in one direction, but the ease with which one can trace that one country ranked 144th the more patriotic one is.
Be it hunger, development, prosperity, GDP, gender, religion, democracy, freedom, violence, or whatever they measure these days, no ranking or list can deter the true nationalist. Because a patriot knows that these lists are designed by the Western powers to defame the one true power in the world anyway – except for the lists where Pakistan ranks positively of course.
Therefore, ask not what the state has done for you to be positive, be so positive that the state doesn’t really have to do anything for you.
And the best part is that you don’t need to be a bigshot to contribute to this particular pool. Anyone and everyone in this country can help the motherland by playing their part in the positivity. Because it is the cumulative positivity of individuals that determines how positive a nation is as a whole.
How exactly can you contribute individually, you ask. Well, start by asking yourself what exactly your issues are. Is there any right that you might believe to be written in the Constitution but feel as though it has not been granted to your or the community you might belong to? Similarly, are you among those ranking on those foreign funded lists where Pakistan ranks negatively?
If that really is the case, you really are in luck. For, no one is in a better position to serve this country than you. All you need to do is interpret the rights, or whatever it is that you feel that you’re not getting, in a different way, and focus on what you do have.
Also, while we are on the subject, there is no greater right than the right to life. And if you’re existing sufficiently enough for you to feel as though you’re not getting your due, that means you have enough life to qualify as alive. Life is a blessing, be grateful for it.
In the off chance, you feel that your life is in danger and there isn’t being enough done to ensure better security for you, please know that you are ungrateful and wrong. No matter which demographic you belong to, there will always be more of you alive than dead.
And if you’re really going to talk about minorities, note that those at the helm are the actual minority in this country. Be positive, and always know that you are, and will be, the majority.
The writer is a Lahore-based journalist.