“Fatima, the speed limit is 60km/h. Why are you driving at 80?” she asked her friend as their car rushed down the road. She looked outside the window and every vehicle on the road seemed to be doing the same. They were all over speeding on a road which funnily enough, was sited adjacent to the Dubai Police Academy.
“It’s alright Sara, there aren’t any radars on this road”, was the reply.To which Sara said, “But it’s not ethical.” Before she could finish expressing herself, Fatima exhaled and said, “You and your ethics! Dude, please chill. What difference does it make anyway? It’s not like I’m going to get fined for being a tad over the speed limit coz first of all, there are no radars here. Secondly, everyone’s doing the same. Look! That guy was definitely over 100!” as a black four-wheeler zipped past our hash back.
Let us not limit our minds to breaking the rules while commuting on the roads. Let us think generally. Come to think of it, when speaking on the rules assigned to us, the person talking sense is regarded as a fool, and the people who are obviously in the wrongare not. Why is that? Why is it that the ratio of the people wanting to abide by the rules is extremely low as compared to the others?
When we choose to live in a country, we ought to abide by its rules and regulations. Whether they are regulations with respect to dress codes, road and transport authority, residency, educationor jobs. Whether we are being watched or not.If one doesn’t “like” the rules, they may as well find a home in another country. Because the truth is, there will be a time when we will be observed by someone, knowingly or unknowingly.
I remember travelling in a train in Germany a few years ago, in a compartment where it was just me and my family. At one point, I got tired and placed my feet on the seat in front of me. Seeing this, a local lady popped out of nowhere and expressed her discontentment to me in German, until I removed my feet from the seat. My initial reaction was pure anger. However, with time I grew to accept that what I did was wrong, and over the years I observed and began to realize that this kind of behavior is becoming increasingly common amongst Pakistanis. What started bothering me was when people started asking me and my Pakistani friends, “I don’t mean to be rude but this is how all Pakistanis are, right?” Such questions and suspicions began to ignite a fire inside me. I couldn’t deny their bad experiences with some unethical, ill-disciplined Pakistani nationals. And I did not have proof to assure them that the majority of our society consists of well-disciplined, well-behaved people which of course would be a lie. I finally told myself, “Okay. Let me start by accepting the fact that we are in need of being disciplined. But hey, it’s not that hard! In fact, I’m going to start working on my discipline right now!”
So here’s a thought. Let us put more effort into being well-disciplined and ethical. To make it more common amongst our people. Why not make that our identity? It is certainly amongst the 3 pillars laid out by Quaid-e-Azam, Mohammad Ali Jinnah. And he was onewell-disciplined man!
Growing up, we have all heard stories of when scheduled to make his presence at a given time, he would make sure that he was there on time. He was so punctual, that people would believe that their watches were wrongly timed, as opposed to thinking that Quaid-e-Azam would not be on time for an event.
So why don’t we make discipline a part of our daily routine? Why not make it a habit? There is always a first time. There is always a first one in the family to accomplish a goal. There is always a first one in the society to bring our values back. For instance, I am friends with two ladies who are the first ones in their families to have started wearing the hijab. Similarly, let us start with ourselves in this context. Because we can surely do it! We have such a strong history which makes us an intensely patriotic nation.
Let us bring back our long-lost discipline! Let each of us be the first ones in our families to do so! Let us represent the true image of Pakistan on the basis of which it was founded.
Hina Abdul Majeed
An incredibly patriotic Pakistani and a student of Information Security, Hina aspires to teach in a noble institution.