Monday, 27 June 2011

Are we going extinct as a nation?

Drone attacks, constant bomb blasts, target killings, political unrest and to add to the havoc now deadly disasters that are wiping out our masses…. Our so-called democratic government is doing what? Just adding up figures to the budget allocated for the President and Prime Minister house? Spending millions on giving a lavish lifestyle to their families?

A few days ago, I happened to be at Park Towers promoting a writing workshop when I saw a handful of cops roaming around all over the place. A few moments later I found out that our President’s daughter Bakhtawar was shopping at the mall and all that security was arranged for her. I have always been curious as to why so much budget is allocated for the Defense sector every year and that was the moment when I discovered the answer to that. But that security is not provided to a person who in spite of all the hardships is paying enormous amount of taxes. For whom the prices of fuel, gas, electricity, and all the necessary commodities have hiked up. That is the underlying reason of why the death toll through suicides has gone up.

Also the job market is giving such a tough time to our graduates, masters, and doctorates due to which they are compelled to leave the country and prefer going abroad to the land of opportunities. Continually increasing debts and foreign loans have aggravated the situation too. So I again put these questions forward: Are we going extinct as a nation? Will there be a time when no one would even know about the country that was created after innumerable sacrifices? Will the upcoming generations know of this land as the one that had a very stable army and naval force, the nuclear power that had beautiful sites and an attractive tourist industry? Will the country that made history become history? These are some questions that we need to ponder over.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Survival of the fittest

The world is talking about it now. Ask the leading HR consultants what the main eligibility criterion for a person to get employment at a renowned organization is. And you will discover that employers these days are looking for people who have good human skills and emotional intelligence. Technical skills are important but what sets one apart from the rest is one’s ability to adapt to a new environment, to communicate and coordinate with fellows nicely and to be able to handle emotions well.

Psychologists these days are talking about the non-cognitive aspects of intelligence and are more interested in social intelligence. Emotional Intelligence, or EI, describes an individual’s ability or capacity to perceive, assess, and manage the emotions of one's self, and of others. Our EQ, or Emotional Quotient, is how one measures Emotional Intelligence.

Now the question arises why psychologists, managers and consultants are taking so much interest in EI. EI of an individual is a strong indicator of the projection of success in the position he takes. Relationships make or break a person’s career. Considering how globalization has taken over the industry and impacted it to such an extent and how the Multinationals have grown, Emotional Intelligence becomes even more of a concern to these people. Every day in businesses, one comes across so many new people and has to deal with them. There are times when the person you encounter the most with comes from an entirely different background. And diversity is essential to innovation. Thus without Emotional Intelligence, survival in contemporary times is not just difficult but practically impossible. Let’s just say that the fittest person nowadays is the one who comes in a complete package; one having great technical skills, a positive attitude and most importantly human skills, of which Emotional Intelligence is a very crucial part.


Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Beggary - an emerging fashion! Who is responsible?

So now it’s becoming even more common. I have to admit that it takes real guts now to say NO to any beggar. It has been observed lately that the number of beggars on the streets of Karachi has increased manifold and this evil is creating unpleasant circumstances throughout the city. The once called “city of lights” should now be termed as the “city of beggars.”

“Allah k naam per dedey beta! Mere bachhon ne 2 din se roti nai khayi. Mujhe rashan dila dey. Mera pota bemaar hai (carrying a baby in her arms). Allah teri jori salamat rakhey beta!”

Every now and then when we take to the road, either as a pedestrian or in our automobiles, we witness this. So this happened with one of my friends a few days back when she was going to buy some stuff from a superstore. She was sitting next to her brother in her car in the parking lot and a random beggar came and uttered the above mentioned words. “Shit! We are siblings…What the hell is wrong with people these days? Just because I am traveling with a guy who is older than me doesn’t make me his girl friend, fiancĂ© or wife”, she thought…Awkward, right? And thus before the woman could say anything further, my friend took out a Rs. 20 note and handed it over to her.

Ever wondered why these people use such sentences? They have been trained professionally on how to emotionally blackmail us, the people who so easily fall a victim to emotional appeal. Many of us condemn these activities but what do we do? Fall a prey to the evils of the society? Ever imagined where this money that we give to them hoping that it would help them in some way goes? We all must have experienced that kids do not sleep for longer than a couple of hours. Ever thought of why the babies they carry in their arms keep sleeping all the time? Reliable sources reveal that these babies are drugged by the gangs that these people work for to compel people to give away charity to them. Ever wondered why people take to this path to gain some monetary funds to support their families? Think again.

You stop at a traffic signal and a child comes to sell a booklet of Qura’ani Surahs, tissue papers, flowers or toys etc. Have you ever bought anything from these people who despite of all the obstacles are trying to earn a livelihood through fair means? Have you ever appreciated their efforts? The same people when adopt easier and dishonest ways which are either begging or snatching and stealing, we condemn their acts. We ourselves don’t strive to find out the facts buried behinds these huge mounds of lies. And then we accuse either the government or the economic factors like hyper inflation for this enormously spreading disease. Let us pause here for a moment, ponder over the above mentioned facts and then answer this: “Who is responsible?”

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind

According to a recent research conducted by environmentalists, the rate at which the once abundant resources are being consumed is analogous to or even faster than the half lives of radioactive elements.
The rate at which the world population is growing is tremendous and as forecasted the upcoming generations will suffer massively due to certain practices if continued. Leading industries and corporations and also common people like us need to start economizing on the resources that are going in such paucity now. Taking the utilitarian approach, a few practices that I believe have benefits beyond imagination can do wonders if incorporated in our daily lives. These have been highlighted as per my understanding into categories below:

Industrial Practices:

1)Waste management department can prove to be extremely useful and ethical. A team of experts should be formed to come up with ways that can turn the by-products into useful end products. Also recycling can ensure utility of resources properly.

2)Disposal of harmful gases can be very hazardous and pose a threat to the health of laborers and workers and later to the macro environment on a whole. A system that consumes such gases and decompose them would be advisable.

Practices for the Common People:

1)Considering that water is going scarce in most of the continents at present and people don’t have purified water to even drink, ways to conserve water should be adopted. There are many ways in which this goal can be achieved like keeping the tap turned off while shampooing and washing face, using as little water as required etc.

2)Use of air conditioners should be minimized considering that it gives off CFCs in the environment which is leading to the depletion of ozone layer. Else the entire human race will suffer the consequences.

Accusations? Why only Media?

Do we backbite more about people in parties or discuss how someone has transformed into a better person? Are we more curious about finding whether someone has gone bankrupt or whether someone witnessed an increase in sales last month? We see two news stories when we glance at the paper in the morning. One of the headlines reads “two Christians killed in target killing” and the other reads “0.6% growth in GDP”. Which one becomes our choice to be read first?

Psychology clearly explains that we the human beings are more interested in what troublesome incidents are occurring in people’s lives rather than what positive incidents are shaping them. It also shows that we shun diversity and see differences more than the similarities that exist between us.

Every business opens up to make profits and like seeing constant increments in figures on their balance sheets. Same is the case with media. Considering how businesses are becoming more customer centered now to make profits, how can we expect media channels and newspapers to show positive news when a clear insight into human behavior reveals that such an approach will not work in any circumstances whatsoever?

Forget ethics. If we take up a business like perspective on this issue, it would not be wrong to say that media channels are operating on the demand of their customers which are us, the common people. Businesses run on the mere principle of creating profits, not just in the short run but also in the long run for their sustainability. Why are media channels always subjected to mockery by everyone? Just because their practices are so transparent and in front of our eyes? What about the other organizations that are huge and indulge into practices that pose greater threats to the survival of human beings? For instance, take an industry that spills its waste materials into the environment and hence polluting it on a whole. Why don’t we judge their actions equally the way we do with media channels? Just because they are functioning at the back of the stage doesn’t mean they should not be pointed fingers at.

We should remember that the same media is covering the entire transmissions of coke studio, the spirit of cricket and the emotional attachment to it, our great heroes and legends etc. Why? Because that’s what we want to see. We should not forget that no channel can manipulate or sensationalize us unless we allow them to do so.

In a nut shell, if we want media to cover the positive aspects of our culture, should we not change our outlooks on issues pertaining to our culture and individuality?