Losing hope

FOR powerful men in our ruling elite, there is no drug more potent than the act of schooling the masses from a lofty pedestal.

Lately, some have been questioning citizens: why lose hope, for it`s a sin. Well, those responsible for driving our nation to its current state, not common people, should bear the weight of this question.

In the present state, one might pardon the fearful, but it is a real tragedy of life when the powerful steal hope from the masses.

For when you strip away hope, you strike with the force of grievous assault at the very core of a society`s ambitions and unity.

Strip away material possessions, and the human mind bears the burden. Take away all hope, and you make this earth a tomb.

Hope is the pillar that upholds and uplifts nations. No nation has ever flourished on the foundation of despair. Despair wears down the spirit. It is hope that empowers the ailing to bear suffering. It is hope that enables the defeated to rise again.

What wears down our hope? Inadequate opportunities for the diligent, our economic despair, growing inequality, inadequate resources for health and education, a mass exodus, appointment of incompetent individuals to significant roles, the spectacle of trivial power struggles, and the daily transgression of law by the powerful.

Confidence also falters when leaders trumpet hollow slogans, yet avoid acting on their own ideals. When they pledge sustenance andshelter,and then arrangenone, how can trust be instilled? When they call for honouring the vote, yet dishonour the Constitution, what conclusions can be drawn? When they promise a society built on the foundations of Riyasat-i-Madina, yet shirk from the norms of a lawful society, how can hope take root? When institutions meddle in matters beyond their constitutional mandate, what conclusion can we draw? All this drains hope from those who cherish this land. All this you and I consume from a poisoned chalice each day.

In distress, you often survey your surroundings. Let`s look beyond our eastern borders. India has its issues but its economic situation paints a different picture.

Today, as we falter, it appears that the Indian economy is taking strides, as is their progress in technology. Our neighbours no longer seek succour at the door of the IMF.

Also, India today attracts top technology investors. Are we not doomed if we persist in our beggary, while our neighbours ascend the stairway of progress? No nation can maintain its stronghold with a barren treasury.

And, speaking of our treasury, it seems to not support the majority of honest menand women. Prosperity and justice for a few, and despair and injustice for many will eventually shake the very foundations of our society, like a tempest hollowing a fortress. The tremors of injustice will crush us.

In injustice and despair, a tragedy often awakens our conscience. It is often through the darkest hours that we see the brightest light. A tragedy can birth brilliant stars, ignite the spark of genius, and pave the way for progress. Yet, it`s a tragedy that we seem to learn little from. What greater calamity must we suffer than losing part of our land? What harsher cost must we pay than the blood of our men, women, and children? Continuing on a downward slide isn`t an option, however. Out of love for posterity, we should rise. Rise we must, that is my plea, lest our complacency sweep us away.

Great leaders help nations rise.

Our powerful elite can`t command hopebecause it can`t be commanded. They can foster hope through their righteous actions, not mere rhetoric. Where the competent take the top posts and justice prevails for the impoverished, hope endures. Where the mighty are subject to the law, hope per-sists. Where questions can be raised without fear for one`s life, belief in a better future exists.

By kindling such hope, our leaders can aim for great honour. True honour does not lie in big posts or making thousands bow or retire with riches. True honour lies in paying heed to the law and pulling a nation from the darkest abyss.

But to win such honour and glory, our leaders will have to render themselves superfluous, as Nietzsche noted. For it is within this path that greatness resides.

Great leaders become great by dedicating themselves to causes greater than their own; something our leaders can emulate.

Upon reading the above plea, some may resonate with what Roman statesman Cicero once said about someone: `He talks as if he lives in Plato`s republic, not in the dregs of Romulus [founder of Rome].

Well, we`re not the dregs. And to rephrase Robert Frost: if the corridors of power are lovely, dark, and deep, don`t our leaders have promises to keep? • The wnter is an author and entrepreneur.

www.wyounas.com Twitter: @wyounas

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