Rolling out the Red Carpet

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Where there's no vision . . . .

Where there is no vision, people perish. That’s because they select goals and begin pursuing them, climbing the proverbial ladder of success, before they define mission and clarify purpose. Consequently on reaching the top rung, they often discover to their dismay that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.

If you only keep your eyes on the path before you, you won’t get lost, but neither will you see the stars. By creating a vision you create a focus that becomes a target that beacons a direction to which the people can become committed. It also provides a basis for the establishment of goals and objectives. Simply by visualizing their goals, people can harness the power of thought to achieve happiness, health, fulfillment, and success.

Vision sets the direction. It’s where the program priorities are set to get down to business. Pressures from the world, society, and individuals can veer off course and urge to react to the priorities and goals of others. It’s therefore important to set up something that works ahead of time and be vigilant about following that vision.

Visions are statements of destination, of the ends of the labor; they are therefore future-oriented and are made real over different spans of time. Movement of Pakistan was launched with a vision. By achieving freedom, have we completed our mission? Have we accomplished our job of retaining the freedom? Hasn’t Pakistan lost to Bangladesh and the rest is being eroded by no other than us—internal enemies. We have no answers because after the freedom we kept the vision of Pakistan in deep freeze.

Vision is uncanny and exhilarating ability to grasp opportunity, to look beyond the obstacles of today and see new possibilities for tomorrow. In national perspective, such vision is always the inevitable product of national commitment. True vision, in fact, has no other genesis. As dedication to independence grows, so does your vision. Vision for Islamic Ideology was the diadem of Pakistan Movement. Where has that vision gone?

Pakistan has unfortunately been duped to vision killers, such as tradition, fear of ridicule, stereotyped people, conditions, complacency of some stakeholders, fatigued and treacherous leadership, short-term thinking, and nay-sayers.

We were supposed to integrate the vision of Pakistan into our life, making it tougher to put off or drop our highest priorities. Such focusing could provide us a framework for all parts of our life. Unfortunately it could not happen and consequently today we fall short of spirits analogous to independent nation.

The most important role of visions in our national life could give focus to human energy. To enable everyone concerned with Pakistan to see more clearly what’s ahead of them, and our leaders could owe and convey a vision. Consciously or unconsciously, this was not done.

Imagine watching a slide show when the projector is out of focus. How would you feel if you had to watch blurred, vague, and indistinct images for an entire presentation? We face a similar situation in Pakistan. People are unaware of their future. They are expressing frustration, impatience, confusion, anger, and even nausea. Undoubtedly, the leaders with the fingers on focus button had the responsibility to focus the projector. They have utterly failed in their responsibilities.

Thus and so without direction and a map, Pakistan is lurching around, getting off course and ending up in places it never wanted to go. Had Pakistan maintained vision, its distractions would have been minimal and our national life would have been spent in a meaningful way. Thus it would have regained control over our life and no longer felt like wasting time.

Even after 61 years we have not learned to make our motivating vision important. This would have helped us in carrying out the goals with passion and energy; giving a focused meaning to a solid foundation to work from.

Unfortunately, our leaders have completely failed to articulate vision. Contrarily and shamefully they pushed the nation into confusion, chaos and disorientation only to accomplish their personal agendas. They could have painted the big picture, to convey the vision, giving people a clear sense of what the puzzle would look like when everyone has put the pieces in place.

Each Pakistani leader should ask from himself questions such as: “How would I like to change the world for Pakistan and myself? If I could invent the future, what future would I invent for my country and myself? What mission in life absolutely obsesses me? What’s my dream about my society? What’s my burning passion? What work do I find absorbing, involving, enthralling? What will happen in 10 years if I remain absorbed, involved, and enthralled in that work? What does my ideal Pakistan look like? What’s my personal agenda? What do I want to prove?

Even if armed with techniques, though, leaders can’t find any freeway to the future, no paved highway from here to tomorrow. The vision for Pakistan’s future can act as its magnetic north. It can possess the extraordinary ability to attract human energy. It can invite and draw others to it by the force of its own appeal.

Indeed, a new vision will be virtually indispensable when there is a need to significantly transform and revitalize Pakistan to increase the likelihood of its future. This will also help sensitize political leadership to emerging issues, help them think about the future and enhance their creativity or sense of risk taking.

Our leadership must provide a vision, a clear image of a desirable future—one that presents an achievable, challenging and worthwhile long-range target toward people can direct their energies. To avoid extinction, we must design our future and visioning is the starting point. (