The story goes something like this….
A politician is addressing a huge gathering. He is preaching equality and sacrifice.
“And all of us who have two houses….. let us give one house to someone less fortunate.. someone who does not have a roof over his head’.
The crowd cheers lustily, endorsing the sentiment. “yes, yes” they cry.
“and let those amongst us who have two cars, give one to a neighbor who doesn’t have any vehicle”
Again the crowd roars its agreement …. the air resonates with cries of “yes, yes”.
“And, those of us who have two shirts; let us give one to a brother who is naked”.
Deathly silence falls upon the crowd. Not a whimper of agreement; not an iota of support. The puzzled leader asks those closest to him why the silence.
The reply is instant. And simple.
“We have two shirts”.
It is easy to give away something that one does not have. Sacrificing something that you actually possess is a different story.
I play golf at all three major courses in Karachi. As is usual, the nineteenth hole invariably consists of us decrying the political situation and our misfortune of having uncaring leaders. During one such session I asked those seated around me what they were willing to give up for the sake of Pakistan. Most were quiet; some put forth options. I suggested that we give up golfing for a few years. A deathly hush fell upon the listeners. Why? How would it help? they said.
I suggested that we turn these lush green acres into public parks for the teeming millions that live in high density, low income areas of Karachi. Let them have gardens to go to, places to relieve their boredom and anguish; spaces where they can be happy for a while. We can go back to playing golf when the quality of life for the common man becomes better.
I have never encountered such stony glares before. There must be at best, under a thousand golfers in all of Karachi. Not a single one is willing to forego his and her elitist pursuits in favor of the greater benefit of the common man. They are still pissed off at the turning off of the floodlit course at the Defence Authority Golf Club.
SO, THINK ABOUT IT, FELLOW PAKISTANIS.
ARE YOU REALLY WILLING TO SACRIFICE FOR THE SAKE OF YOUR COUNTRY?
WILL YOU STOP USING AIR CONDITIONERS TO EASE THE ENERGY CRISIS? WILL YOU CARPOOL? GIVE LIFTS TO PEDESTRIANS?
WILL YOU STOP GORGING AT LAVISH DINNERS?
WILL YOU DO AN HONEST DAYS WORK?
IT IS MUCH HARDER THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE.