Begin from somewhere: Empowerment via social behavioral change

More than half the Pakistani population is about a quarter of a century old. It is now or never. We have such huge potential – a vortex of energy at this point that we need to take hold of and put to use – for Pakistan’s prosperity. We talk about the youth being Pakistan’s future – however, they are not only the future – they are the present. We are now!

Sure, we need the proper infrastructure, electricity and support facilities to accomplish our everyday goals and prosper. But the first thing all Pakistani’s need to change is our attitude, towards hard work and in general towards each other. Small increments, pareto potential improvements are the basis of economic growth and urban progress. So we cannot wait around for tomorrow and for the future – we need to grow up already and get to work. Social behavior and attitude go a long way. One, we need the long lasting hope – Umeed pe dunya kaim hai. Two, we need humbleness and loyalty towards whatever we do. This will help Jawan Pakistan unite and work together towards progress.

We don’t need to build roads or open a school right away, all we need is to have a positive outlook and Insaniat – deal nicely at person to person level. Stand in lines, don’t give bribes, smile and talk nicely to the server at a restaurant – one of us will do it then two then five hundred then a million then fifty million then one eighty million.

Empowerment comes from the bottom and not the top. We need this inner self-aspiration and satisfaction that only our social behavior will first spread. And really it costs nothing but letting go of our, egos maybe or whatever you want to call it? Then we need to educate each other – even us, the ‘highly’ literate. So we realize it is not about just us and our career goals – and it is now – so why not spread the smiles, the kind words, abcd or alif bai we know and the plus minuses. I, myself am a victim of this crime and should be doing more than looking after just myself. Teach for Pakistan and Rabtt are the type of organizations that we should be looking up to. Join them, create more and if not – just be a good human and share the positive vibe, good manners, appreciation and true loyal dealings.

Sana Riaz is a Master of International Development Planning Candidate 2015 at New York University and holds a Bachelor of Science (Honors) in Accounting and Finance from Lahore University of Management Sciences.

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