It is not what we have that will make us a great nation; it is the way in which we use it.
A nation is a network of people formed on the basis of a common language, territory, history, ethnicity, or common culture. Nations are not built in a matter of days but years and centuries of effort and uniform persistence under the right leadership goes into building a nation that lasts.
“Education is the chief defense of nations.’’ Edmund Burke
Education nourishes the nation and the generations to come as it is always held with high regard. However, education alone cannot build nations that leave their mark. It requires a vision of what we want and what we can build on the foundations already laid by those before us.
Let’s begin with morality.
Having a clear sense of what is right and wrong and using it as a guide to drive our inner compass towards success as a nation. We require a firm moral basis to eradicate corruption, crime, social ills, and injustice.
Nations thrive when they invest in human capital and a high value is given to all life regardless of one’s ethnicity, religion, social status, and financial status. Once we start valuing lives, we would start to look into the more profound issues of safety and health.
Al Gore once said, “A commitment to openness, truthfulness, and accountability helps our country avoid many serious mistakes that we would otherwise make”. Truthfulness must be sought after in all areas of life, including transparency, integrity and honesty in all governmental and private dealings. Only in such a society where leaders are honest about mistakes made will actions be taken without fear or biasness.
Aim for excellence in whatever you do and success will follow. Excellence is achieved when people work and take pride in what they do. When a nation is motivated by a sense of self-achievement and recognition is when they find dignity in what they do.
A strong presence of justice in society accounts for a sense of security in its citizens. All laws enacted must show a commitment to justice and meritocracy, promoting what is right and deterring what is wrong.
At the end of it all, we need to have a comprehensive vision of what Pakistan should look like even before we start building it. Let us begin to see it and start working towards it. The process will take its time but eventually, we will get there.
By Sameen Shakeel