Independence Day celebrations remind us of our struggle and sacrifices made to gain a free homeland in which we live today — we get into a celebration mode with a lot of zeal. Sadly, our patriotism is now limited to wearing green and white coloured attires, badges and, at the most, putting up flags on cars, homes and streets. But is this all there is to patriotism? Or have we redefined it to be this way? Isn’t there a duty our country and our forefathers need us to perform? Why are we waiting for another Quaid-i-Azam or Liaquat Ali Khan who will get us out of the troubled times we are in; we don’t really want to get ‘our’ hands dirty. But now it’s high time we did something for our country, any more neglect will land us in a much bigger mess. If we don’t strive to awaken the Pakistani sleeping inside us for a long time, things will deteriorate to such a point that no act of ours can help us or our nation. It’s not enough to assert only during a celebration or an India-Pakistan cricket match that we are all Pakistanis. People’s conscience doesn’t even prick them when looking at the picture of the Quaid on the rupee note they give as bribe, Change takes a lot of effort on individual basis. Start with small positive steps, stop yourself from becoming selfish and dishonest even regarding the smallest of the issues. Don’t break traffic rules or go the wrong way on roads. Stop your family and friends from giving bribes to get away with breaking traffic rules or getting their work done urgently in any office. There is one more problem with us; we are not a united nation. We have divided ourselves on various grounds and unless we believe that we have to make Pakistan a better place for all Pakistanis to live in, we don’t stand a chance in making things any different. We must be the change we desire to see around us. If we start counteracting against these ills from this very age, then there sure is some hope for a better Pakistan. We all need to work, both independently and collectively, to achieve this goal for a better life and a prosperous destiny for our beloved homeland. Long live Pakistan and Pakistanis.
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