Exploring the meanings of life
Syed Irfan Iqbal
An expert driver always looks far-ahead and far- behind in order to find spaces for smooth drive. He is not supposed to stop car at every second to check the mechanics or electrical parts of vehicle and he is not either supposed to be whimsical enough to stop the vehicle after every short interval and assess air pressure or to know the condition of road. He keeps going with a belief that destination is his fate and the vehicle he is driving is reliable. The small bumps on road, sudden breakdown of vehicle, unpredictable mood swings in other cases severe traffic congestion, heavy rain, blistering snow, fast storm do not let the committed and honest driver to stop the vehicle. He keeps going how slow it may be with a belief that destination is his fate. He knows well that these obstacles are part and parcel of path. He knows that water never flows in reverse but always flows forward to be part of something bigger and something for which water is destined for.
A common saying ‘ Life is a journey’ have we ever wondered why life is not termed or called walking , swimming, flying, eating, watching and other never endings ‘ INGs’. Realistically, Journey of real life comprises of all these little activities. While driving for real life journey; once we are on road of world; let’s drive the vehicle of our lives confidently with a belief that this vehicle is bound to meet a pre-destined destination or self-made goals.
We as driver of our lives should look far ahead – adopting futuristic approach does not allow us to be entangles in petty disputes and petty egoism. As, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah knows that his struggle is for future of millions of humans, as Martin Luther King realizes that his fight against racism is for future generation to come; as Hellen Keller – American Person with disabilities, foresees that her struggle would be beacon of light for Persons with disabilities and also for those who have eyes but are unable to see! Looking far-ahead keeps them propelling and struggling to work for millions of humans to come.
Opposite to ‘look-far ahead approach’ is Looking far-behind. It is not keep entangled into near negative past, daily discouragement, daily little whimsicality of others and some trouble of past or some obstacle ( it may be self-made or of external environment). Looking far behind does not mean to ignore bad past but it means distancing themselves from past but never to forget and ignore the lessons from history. It teaches us not reversing again and again the vehicle of life. As we just look far behind just to keep us aware and keep us envisioned how to avoid past blunders, how not to be prisoner of past shortcomings and past misfortunes. Past is to learn the lessons and following these lessons in present makes prospects of future bright. Edison would not have been able to lighten the darkness of world with his invention of Bulb if he had kept on reversing the previous attempts again and again; he had learnt from each experiences of past; but he keeps on going and going. Ultimately, he blessed nights of billions of people with ‘Light’.
Have we ever wondered! What is actual difference between middle class vehicles and super rich luxury vehicles? Both types of vehicle have to traverse the roads, both vehicles are supposed to have expert driver and a pre-destined or pre-decided destination. The difference is, in fact, lies spacious inner ambience, sound and noise free inner environment, and best of all inner safety measures to keep the passengers safe in case of accident. In life, it is inner space, inner peace, inner calm, inner commitment and inner strength that save us from external accidents and from those over which we do not have control.
Last but not least, the life on this road of world faces ups and downs, sometimes it breaks down suddenly, sometimes, it does not let us to find our destination, sometimes it does not let us to adjust in outer ambience (as large vehicles are not made for small streets), sometimes our fellow passengers find us faithless, sometimes we lost belief on the journey and it is also possible that some time we realize that we have been traversing on such roads which was not made for us. In such testing times, it is inner resolve, commitment, confidence and belief that do not let us to bow down In front of momentary obstacles. It is strength of inner ambience with which we can swim across oceans of troubles, seas of oppression and streams of disappointments. The story of human struggle is a manifestation of this reality that Man always keeps his journey continued on the path of improvement and making the inner and outer world more tolerable and adjustable. Man-made wonders of the world reflects that looking far-ahead and looking far-behind is the approach what we need to traverse the roads of life with a confidence that we all have destinations to reach conditionally we avoid tendency of reversing the flow of life.
Let’s resolve that our journey of life remain continued as bird keeps on flying to be at home in evening, as flowers keep on blossoming without fear of fading away for-ever, as birds keep on signing, as trees keep on bearing fruits not for themselves for others.
The author is a researcher at Parliament House, Islamabad.