Choice has many faces

"We always have a choice between being rude and kind, rejective or appreciative, healthy or unhealthy, human or inhuman and so on"

The debate on who should be credited with the recent FATF grey list news is unending. Pakistan has been on the grey list even before this and removed too, but why this time, the credit game is going on.

The other thing yet to be decided is: who should we give credit for the success, which is just one on-site visit away?

The PTI government? The army? The opposition? Or all of them?

When one friend asked me about the right quarters working for the FATF success, I said it was his choice to give credit to anyone he deemed the right one.

In our daily life, we use our right to use choice several times, without thinking twice, just like a reflex action.

This Side Mirror piece might be a mirror to my earlier piece on the right to have a choice. If I am writing another piece on “choice”, this is my choice and I’m not trying to convince the people that this is the right one. I respect your choice, and you mine – we have no other choice but to be kind and polite towards people’s choices.

One may not like my choice, and they can disagree with it without grumbling. The same rule applies to me as well.

But this does not mean all things are choices – if I have a sweet tooth and cannot resist chocolates or cookies, that is not a choice. Similarly, race and eye colour are not choices.

What I think is that one should exercise their right to choose between being a kind person and a rude man.

While being in Lahore, which is changing its demography and landscape fast, there is no escape from both the kind lot and grumpy people. One comes across both types of people everywhere and every time – at service stations, at gyms, at a traffic signal, at a family gathering, in WhatsApp groups and other social media platforms.

It is not about me and Lahore. I feel the same situation is with everyone and everywhere – Karachi, Dubai, Islamabad, Moscow and New York. I am overwhelmingly outnumbered.

Sometimes I see social media users who have posted a Quranic verse or some other religious symbol as their display picture but their newsfeed is filled up with everything that has nothing to do with a religion or religious teachings. I have several louts in my social media connections. No one understands this pairing of Einstein as a display picture, one showing interest in knowledge, discovery and science, but cheap, below the belt jokes posted on news feed.

What would you feel when you see contrasting things together?

Please, do not waste your precious time attempting an answer. This was just a general question.

Let me get back to the core point of having choices.

We are in a habit of defining people by their looks, wealth, and moods.

Also, people want to be defined by their looks, wealth and moods.

Sure, every guy has grumpy moods and moments.

That is NOT a healthy trend, at all.

No sane and sage person would like to be known from their moods.

It’s a choice.

Once a family friend said that they would be grumpy with their domestic help all the time as “it works better and keeps the staff in their limits”.

Should one feel proud for being grumpy with their domestic staff?

I did not say anything to the friend. Instead, I felt ashamed. I knew my words would not make any difference to their conduct.

I would like to be known as a cool person.

Again, it is a pick, my pick.

We always have a choice between being rude and kind, rejective or appreciative, healthy or unhealthy, human or inhuman and so on.

It is not so difficult to make a decision.