In this world there are three categories of the people:
1. Ones who live in the past 2. Ones who live in present 3. Ones who live in future
The same categories are of the nations and the countries
Ones who live in the past
The first category is in abundance and are most comfortable living in the glory of their ancestors, or few achievements of their own which either by luck, efforts or accident brought them some success, glory, satisfaction and comfort. They are like the ones who are trapped in a time machine and are comfortable in gloating on the memories of the past and try to fool themselves and the entire world that they should be acknowledged, respected and recognized because some obscure achievement of their foregone past.
Individually they are from the generations of rich and famous whose only identity is their ancestry, like the son of so and so or from such and such community, tribe or place.
They are the people who according to me chose to live in a graveyard instead of being the part of life of a thriving city, because this provides them a comfort zone with no one to challenge them, compete with them and bother them. Such people eventually end up being dead and abandoned like their ancestors much before their time. We the Muslims as a community are a perfect example of this category. Our total pride is our past with no contribution to the present for the last of about 5/6 centuries and we are completely trapped in the Glory of our forefathers, leaders and ancestors. We only keep repeating their achievement completely ignoring their troubles and turbulences as well as their calibers. We feel angry agitated, frustrated when the modern world does not acknowledge us and give us the respect which in our mind we think we deserve.
Failing to fit in the modern world and molding our thinking attitudes, and capabilities to suite the requirement of the time we become bitter, frustrated and sometimes turn to destructive attitude as individuals as well as the society which brings more isolation and seclusion from the mainstream.
We as a huge community are no more leaders and very reluctant slow and unwilling participants in progress of the modern science and knowledge.
Ones who live in present
Most of the modern philosophers and moderate thinkers preach for us to live in the moment. This seems very logical, lucrative and practical. Modern science does not believe and preach any life beyond the one we are in and except in religious scriptures and they reject any reality where no physical proofs can be given.
The biggest fight between religion and science had been the debate about the life beyond the one we are in and most of the time religion has taken a back seat. I am not qualified or knowledgeable enough to argue on such a vast controversy which is raging for centuries and perhaps will continue till the end of the world, but I will confine myself only to the extent that whether it is logical to think about yourself and your physical existence in this world or extend you thinking and efforts to provide the benefits and ease to the coming generations beyond you.
Experience shows that the individuals who only think for their survival for today and not for the future invent Atom bombs, nerves gases and build big houses and big mansions and luxurious yachts to provide them comfort and safety in the present.
Ones who live in future
The people who think about future, stablish universities, research laboratories to find the cures for the diseases, develop systems to control pollution, and prepare the next generations to fight the challenges of the future. They look much ahead of their physical existence in this world but aim to live in the history. Most of the famous philosophers, thinkers, inventors, reformers come from this category.
This category has always been in a very small minority, because living in future only requires vision, faith and thinking beyond self and time. Being futuristic is a very philosophical and spiritual calling. To give your present for someone else’s future is divine.
Defining “Life” is a very complicated and controversial subject, viz is life the one 6 or 7 decades that every individual spends on this earth or his or continues in the form of his /her legacy that a person leaves behind. History remembers all sorts of individuals whether cruel, unjust and tyrants as well as benevolent, kind giving and selfless, but the world has always taken a turn due to the sacrifices thinking and philosophy of the later and despised, criticized and hated the former.
The life according to religion is eternal which continues for ever, even after the destruction of our physical bodies and that why every religion teaches to do good which extends beyond our physical life.
EVERY ONE OF US AS INDIVIDUAL AS WELL AS A SOCIETY HAS A CHOICE TO MAKE TO SELECT THE CATEGOGRY OF LIFE OUT OF THESE THREE AS THERE IS NO FOURTH CHOICE.
Happy Independence Day!
Rais Khan is a Chartered Accountant and an author. He has worked in corporate sector for 40 years in a variety of corporations ranging from IBM to Etisalat in UAE. He has worked and lived in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, USA, Africa and the UAE. Currently he is a freelance business consultant and part-time writer. He is the Editor of Pehchaan and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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