The message has always been a simple one: Pakistan is home — you’re the thinkers, the planners, the rebels, the creative genius, the moonlight and the sunbeam, the warriors that will take Pakistan towards the 22nd century.
The composition of the reality that weaves the 22nd century from what we witnessed in the 21st is very different. It is because each one of us is responsible for creating the future we live in, much of what we weave over the next couple of decades will shape what Pakistan may look like in the 22nd century.
Imagine you’re 90 today; look back, as far as you can remember, who was the villain in your life’s story, who gave you a helping hand? Did you let them down or, did you live the life with a purpose? Because what you remember when you’re closer to the century is valuable to the human history. The story of our existence is interlinked. The memories you keep, the ones you forego is what binds the humanity in goodness and in evil.
Many Pakistanis born today will most probably live on to the year 2100. Life expectancy trajectory looks good and if your life looks good then, be grateful to today’s generation, but if it doesn’t then there is no one to blame but yourself. As Yuval Harari in 21 Lessons for the 21st Century puts it; ‘If the future of humanity is decided in your absence, because you are too busy feeding and clothing your kids, you and they will not be exempt from its consequences’.
The Pakistan we inherited in the 20th century still faces mundane challenges, some good has happened and is happening, but is still not enough given the magnitude of responsibilities.
Where we have failed in the last seven decades is because we haven’t been able to communicate
and effectively transfer responsibility from one generation to the next. The message has always been a simple one: Pakistan is home — you’re the thinkers, the planners, the rebels, the creative genius, the moonlight and the sunbeam, the warriors that will take Pakistan towards the 22nd century. The question is how would you do it? No, this is not a low down on STEM, it is a choice that you make. I believe you will need the following building blocks
as life moves onwards and upwards:
• Remember, we are not alone, as long as there’s energy on the surface and in the universe, there will always be life or a life form, so create a global network of mentors, and never stop learning.
• Have at least five people in your life, who will always be there for you, they should know you inside and out, make that effort, be more meaningful.
• Humanity over politics and wars, because if it weren’t for the human connection, life wouldn’t exist. Interact and be compassionate.
• Memories are a unique combination of feelings, some of which you recollect as events, some through personalities. They are your windows into the future, always remember the good ones, they’ll help you build your life around your ideas and your values.
• Surround yourselves with family and friends, never be dragged by these relationships, each one is living and playing out his or her experience, empathize.
If you get these five things right in life, you’ll be amazed with your ability to gradually unlock the mysteries of your mind and how you are able to create the experiences of life that will help you learn from your success and failures. Now, this doesn’t mean that your life would be easy breezy. You are the total sum of your experiences, be sure that you’ve lived for a purpose other than yourself, but the first step would be to get to know yourself, not just through the lens of others around you, but with deep introspection. Learn to hear what goes through your mind, uncover your biases, explore your choices, it’ll help you navigate through uncertainties with clarity.
So, you could either be employed pursuing dreams emended by others on to you or you could create and build a future you’ve imagined or dreamt of. The former is an easier choice; the latter, a struggle. But becoming champions of your own destinies is a life worth pursuing. There will be times when you make the wrong choices, but look forward to the times when you make the right ones, learn to recognize both. The world today gives you that opportunity. Be that hunter and invest in yourself.
The barriers you see today are the infrastructure of a past imagination gone wrong. Identities matter, they give meaning. The language people speak, tells you where they’ve been. Treat words wisely. So, experience cultures and live in other value systems, educate yourself, have a cause, be part of the solution and not the problem, bring people together, life is a journey, define a purpose. And, Rise!
The writer is Futures Researcher and Strategic Narrative Professional, Founder and President of a think tank AGAHI. Twitter: @puruesh