Dear friends, we often come across people whom we find different than the usual lot. They can be obnoxious for no reason, can have a bad temper, or they may find faults in others and never agree with anyone.
The kind of attitude they have makes us steer clear of them and avoid them completely. However, there may be some whom you simply cannot avoid and are forced to put up with. What should be your behaviour in this situation? Here are some suggestions to make things go smoothly, even though some people are way too irritating.
Let us call these complicated people difficult ones as they are difficult to deal with. These people can be divided into many categories, some of which are the mean, the bossy, the smug, the show-offs, etc. Then there are those whose personal grooming is not up to the mark and you feel repulsed when you have any interaction with them. The obnoxious are the extreme category and it can be hard to deal with them.
Some children think that by being mean to their peers, they are proving that they are better than them. They will try to make fun of you, pass unpleasant remarks and degrade you whenever they get an opportunity. The mean person may also be a grown-up and you have to be more careful when dealing with him/her.
Try not to get distraught by the mean person’s negative behaviour. The best policy is to ignore them. If you reply to their objectionable remarks, they will lose no time in picking up a fight with you which can grow from vocal to physical.
Have full confidence in yourself and believe firmly that this disagreeable behaviour is due to a hidden inferiority complex.
Stay polite with your mean peers and do not stoop down to their level by behaving in the same manner as theirs. Your courtesy may have a positive effect and slowly improve their behaviour and make them realise that their conduct was not proper or acceptable.
There are children who simply love to boss around, trying to impose their opinion over everyone. Whether you are in the classroom, in the playground or on an outing, they will always want to have their way.
Bossy people also have the tendency to bully their peers, pressurising them into accepting their views. In an argument, they will try to prove that their stance is correct, without listening to the facts and figures the other person is giving. They may harass you, yell at you, or threaten you of an assault.
Bossy peers should be dealt with tactfully. If you defy them openly, they may become nasty and quickly pick up a quarrel. If you tackle a bossy classmate by using a bit of diplomacy and say, “The option you are giving is not bad, but don’t you think this one is better”.
In this way, you can make them believe that the choice was theirs’ and their domineering nature will be appeased. In trickier situations you can just state that “Majority wins”. When a group of your peers vote against what the bossy one wants, he will be more likely to give in.
Life gives better opportunities to some children. They may be born in an affluent family and have more luxuries than their peers. Some of you may be more intelligent than your classmates and always attain good grades. In the same way, a few of you may be good at sports. All of us have our good and bad traits.
The smug usually have a sense of self-satisfaction which may grow into arrogance. Instead of attributing their achievements to the better opportunities they received and being grateful for them, they develop a sense of superiority and look down on their peers disdainfully. They are haughty and consider the people around them inferior.
Simply stay clear of the smug children around you. They will make an all out effort to shake your confidence, treat you with scorn and always try to ascertain their superiority on you.
The best way to tackle such peers is to work hard and try your best to prove your mettle. Your good performance and achievement will convince the smug that he/she is not the best of all, and make him realise that their attitude was totally nasty. You should firmly believe that your character, education and achievements matter more than the worldly things they keep on bragging about.
Boasting is perhaps one of the most irritating attitudes a person may have. Making tall claims about everything related to them is an unpleasant hobby of a boastful peer and he is usually disliked by everyone. Whether it is his house, his clothes, his car or his electronic gadgets, he will always claim that his belongings are the most superior of all.
Some show-offs even resort to telling lies to support their tall claims. For example, even if they went to a road side eatery on a weekend, without a blink of the eye, they will claim that they went to a five-star hotel. If they are wearing branded clothes which they got from the flea market, they will brag that an uncle or cousin sent it from abroad!
Whether they are telling you the truth or are lying, always make it clear to the show-off that you are not impressed! Give him the clear signal that you are fully content with your life, your possessions and your circumstances. It is your right to struggle for a better life, but do not allow his bragging act as a catalyst for your efforts. Follow your dreams without being impressed by the negative effects of the boast.
You should firmly believe that your character, education and achievements matter more than the worldly things the show-off keeps on bragging about.
The hygiene-ignorant and ill-groomed
Some children have a poor sense of hygiene and do not know the basics of self-grooming. Often they come to school without brushing their teeth or taking a shower. Their uniform may not be clean or pressed, neither their shoes polished. These children are usually shunned by their peers who feel repulsed by their foul breath or the reek of perspiration coming from them.
Tackle your hygiene-ignorant and ill-groomed peers with kindness. Instead of humiliating them in company, talk to them when you are alone. Explain to them politely that personal grooming is very important to make friends.
Maybe they live in an area where there is a shortage of water, you can advise them to brush and wash properly and use deodorants and talcum powder. Tell them that keeping their uniforms clean and crisply pressed and their shoes polished, is not an impossible task. Your compassion/tolerance can save them from embarrassment and improve their quality of life.
This topic is so comprehensive that I could go on and on. In the end, I would like to remind my young friends that no one among us is perfect! It is humanely impossible to be so. We all have our shortcomings and good traits. It is very easy to overlook our short comings but quickly pounce on our peers’ bad traits. Be careful before judging anyone or giving them a negative label.
By nature, there is also an in-born element of self-righteousness in all of us. Always be on your guard and do not let this element grow out of control, so that you become an unpopular person. Before pointing fingers at someone else, carefully look for your own flaws.
Do you have any of the above mentioned attitudes? Be honest with yourself and if you find yourself on the wrong end, try to correct your weaknesses. If you find them in your peers, try to help them with compassion and a positive mind-set. You may not realise it, but your kindness and patience may change someone’s attitude (and life) for the better.
Published in Dawn, Young World, March 30th, 2019
There is a fable about an old man who was planting a tree by a roadside. A passerby stopped to watch and asked in an inquisitive tone, “Why are you planting this tree, when you won’t live to enjoy its shade?”
The old man replied with a smile, “I am not planting it for myself, but for the generations to come.”
Martin Luther, a German theologist, once said, “Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”
Friends, every day we read about global warming and climatic changes and how disastrous it is for the human race and all living things on our planet. In simple words, climate change refers to the changes in Earth’s climate, especially the gradual increase in temperature. Out of many reasons for this rise in average temperatures, a major one is the high level of carbon dioxide and other dangerous gases in the atmosphere. This in turn is due to the diminishing forest cover around the world, a negative effect of the rapid industrialization taking place all over the world.
You all must have learned in your science classes how trees absorb carbon dioxide from the air, for the process of photosynthesis, a cycle nature has devised for them to create their own food. In return, they give out oxygen and moisture, which are essential for our survival. As forests are decreasing, this natural process to keep a balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has become badly disturbed. The importance of increasing the green cover and forests, is one of the most important steps suggested by experts.
You may not be aware that Pakistan is one of the worst affected countries from climatic changes. Rising temperatures, severe droughts, flooding due to heavy rains and melting glaciers are some of the problems we are facing. Here we will not discuss the reasons, but our small input to fight this grave problem.
Friends, we all can put in efforts, big or small, to make a difference and fight this enemy which is not knocking at our door, but has already entered our precious motherland. Although the international standard for forest cover for a country is 12 percent, a World Bank study shows that Pakistan has only 3.3 percent of forest area.
Let’s make a vow that from now on, we shall paint Pakistan green! As I have mentioned above, deforestation is a major cause for the rising temperatures in our homeland. Ruthless felling of trees by the timber mafia for their selfish gains, for fuel by the poor people who do not have alternate source of energy and an indifferent policy by the government, have reduced our forest cover and greenery to a disastrous level. Instead of lamenting on our national loss, let us decide to take our destiny in our own hands and strive for what contribution we can make to control the situation.
Friends, here are a few suggestions for a greener Pakistan.
Start a green drive
You may be surprised at my suggestion, thinking that this is something for older people to do. But if you think deeply, you will realise that you can work according to your age. Your plantation drive can start from your homes, your family and your neighbourhood, and you can work on it according to your age.
You can start by planting small plants in pots, and trees in the open areas in your homes. Those of you who live in apartments or small houses, can reserve a corner of your house or a part of your balcony where you can keep small pots of plants of your choice.
Spread awareness among your family and neighbourhood and request them to join your plantation drive. You can offer to volunteer to help in planting, watering and taking care of the green areas on weekends for those who do not have a lot of helping hands and find it hard to take care of their plants and trees.
One tree for every child
Recently I was deeply impressed by a story I read about a prospering village. This village adopted ‘A tree for a child’ policy on a self-help basis. With every child born, a new fruit tree was planted and handed over to the child when he/she was old enough to look after it.
Although this was fiction, if we think seriously this measure could make our country green in a few years. Whenever a baby is born in your family, ask the parents to plant a tree dedicated to him/her. Trees can also be planted for older children and they will feel proud as they see their saplings grow with them, out beating them in height in no time.
Plant according to your age
The younger ones among you can look after small pots, after requesting your parents or elder siblings to plant seeds or saplings for you. Make sure that the plants get enough sunshine and water them regularly according to their requirement. But be careful not to over water your seeds, as it will destroy them.
The older ones among you can go for bigger plants, shrubs, creepers or trees, whichever you like more. Ask around, consult your science teachers or search the internet for the vegetation best suited for your area. Your mum will be delighted if you grow vegetables or herbs in big pots or open areas in your homes.
Plant according to your region
Pakistan is a country with diverse physical features. We have highlands, mountains, plains, valleys, deserts and a long sea shore. Find out which plants and trees are the best to grow in the climate of your region and the best months of the year to plant them.
Choosing wisely will save you from disappointment if the plants you sow wither away quickly.
Plant in open spaces, roadsides, parks and public places
We often see open areas which are devoid of any greenery. With the permission of an authorised person, you can work in a group in such places in your neighbourhood and plant suitable trees. Take turns to water these plants and look out for any pests or other problems.
You can consult an older person to help you out in solving your problems if using pesticides or adding manure is required. You will feel proud when these trees grow and create a green cover for the previously barren area.
Save your seeds
Friends, we all enjoy fruits at our homes. Make it a point to save the seeds of these fruits. Dry them in shady place for a few days and then you can replant them in a more open space so that they can flourish into a large tree. If you do not have enough space, give them to your acquaintances who live in bigger homes.
In the same way, some vegetables can also be grown. Tomatoes, lady finger and spinach are some of the vegetables which you can easily grow at home.
Create a green fund in every home
My young friends, you will need money for buying seeds and plants to paint Pakistan green! Create a common fund in each home.
You can request your parents and grandparents to donate to your ‘green fund’ and also save some amount each month from your pocket money. We all love to go out and enjoy on weekends. For the love of trees, I would suggest that for at least one weekend every month, you all skip this outing and add to your fund instead.
At the end of each month, if you have money left in your green fund, plant some more or give the amount to those who cannot spare money to create a green corner in their homes.
Follow the instructions in parks and green areas
I feel sad to write these lines, but as a nation, we love to break rules. Often clear instructions in bold words are written at important points in parks which read, ‘Do not walk on the grass’, or ‘Do not pluck flowers’, but people ignore these instructions with impunity.
Do not follow the example of those who break rules, but create awareness among your peers that protecting and taking care of greenery (and following rules) is not only our duty, but it is also for our own good.
Cut down on paper usage
I hope you all know that the paper we write on, the paper plates and cups we use during outings and the tissue papers we throw away after using once, are all made from wood. Use your exercise books carefully, utilising them as much as you possibly can. Cut down on items of onetime use and avail recycling measures wherever possible.
Although these steps are simple, they may be time consuming. But staying out in the open will also be beneficial for your health. In the long run, adopting these measures will create a big difference, a difference for a better tomorrow.
Best wishes for a greener and better Pakistan.
Published in Dawn, Young World, August 25th, 2018
The only predictable fact about life is that it is totally unpredictable! Consoling (or trying to do so) people who have lost a near and dear one has some norms. But often, in our eagerness to ease their pain, we forget these norms.
Death has different ways of striking and carrying away the people we love dearly. Sometimes it comes on tip toes from behind, taking us by surprise, hitting like a tsunami, destroying our peace of mind and happiness in just a moment and leaving us agonised and dazed by the intensity of the pain it creates.And on others, we watch in despair and anguish the ebbing away of the tide of life from a cherished person, hoping against hope that some miracle would stop it from striking.
When it comes to the passing away of our loved ones, the sorrow it causes has the power to sweep off the feet (though momentarily) even those of us who are emotionally strong. Only time can heal the heartache we experience. But this is also the time when we expect and need maximum emotional support from friends and family, and more often than…
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YOU ARE A MURDERER!
You are a doctor, and yet you let someone die…just like that!
All you cared for was your fees… You were only bothered about your bloody fees…
You should be ashamed of yourself. Your degree should be torn and then burnt into the fire and your PMDC registration should be canceled right away and you should be hanged till death…because you were part of this murder!
I am a Pakistani and these above lines are wrenched from the bottom of my heart. I just found out that a woman died in a hit and run case yesterday, in Karachi, near Sea View. I am sure you all must be aware of this tragic incident; I am not going to focus on the mad driver who didn’t stop his car and instead, ran all over her and didn’t even stop for one second to look back at what he had done … He’s a murderer and he will rot in hell…
I am not going to comment on that bloody desperate thief who came forward to see the severely injured woman on the road…And in the pretense of providing a helping hand, he STOLE her mobile phone…without even thinking for one second that her phone could have been used for locating her family…or her family would have died a thousand deaths when they would have tried to contact her and her phone would have been turned off because that’s what thieves do, right? No… I am not commenting on this either…
I am commenting and condemning this DOCTOR who refused to treat her when the eye witnesses and some police constables took her to the nearest medical center. This DOCTOR had the audacity to refuse any kind of treatment because all she was worried about was the fact that the woman’s family was not there and her main question was that “Who would pay my fees?” That patient was dying… I am sure no one could have saved her…but at least some HUMANITY could have been expected from that DOCTOR…right?
My hands are cold right now, my eyes blurry with tears…I am mourning the death of humanity in our nation… our nation has stooped to the lowest levels and I really don’t know what to do now…my head is pounding with the images of this accident site and some flashbacks of the sanitary worker that died when THREE DOCTORS refused to treat him in Umerkot few months ago…but above all…my heart is HURT at the inhumanity of all these doctors… It’s killing me because I am a Doctor myself and we take OATHS to protect people. We have pledged to keep people’s safety and benefits before our own…and in cases of emergency…we are bound to come up front and take control…without thinking about money or any other superficial things!
It is my humble request to all, who read this post… Please do something… This nation is dying… Please please please become someone’s light instead of prying it away from them…
To all the doctors out there, don’t forget that YOU were bestowed with the power of healing… YOU were entrusted with the amanat of taking care of people before your own needs… YOU are going to be held accountable too!
Think a thousand times before you refuse treatment to any patient next time…
Dr.Ayesha Ansar Khan
In our part of the world, weddings are the most celebrated occasions, not only in the lives of the prospective bride and groom, but also the immediate family, the not-so-immediate family and the circle of friends.
The excitement starts when the boy gives a go-ahead to his parents to find a suitable girl for him. From then on mothers and sisters begin a frantic search, rejecting or approving girls over a tea-trolley. She is examined from head to toe, irrelevant / embarrassing questions are thrown at her and she can be rejected at the slightest pretext. If she passes the test, a formal proposal is sent to her parents. This in turn starts another frenzied activity. Heads are joined to make a decision and the boy’s looks, height, income, whether he owns a house or not etc are taken into consideration. As soon as the proposal is accepted and the time for the grand occasion is decided, the wedding fever sets in.
Selection of the bridal outfit, the matching jewellery to be ordered, sandals and handbag to go with the shaadi ka jora, are all matters of utmost importance. The best beauty studio is booked for the bridal make-over and the best possible venue is selected for the functions. Every minute detail has to be chalked out — from invitation cards, the bride and groom’s entry in the wedding hall, the decoration of the stage, the flowers, lightning, cake, the menu, token gifts for the guests, the list seems to be endless.
There are non-stop shopping sprees for clothes, shoes, furniture and crockery for the dowry and gifts for the bridegroom and the in-laws. These frenzied shopping trips leaves the bride and her family exhausted as the Big Day approaches.
The groom’s house is also buzzing with pre- wedding arrangements. Along with the dresses, jewellery and accessories for the bride the house needs to be renovated, re-painted and sometimes re-furnished. The couple’s room is given extra attention. The bride usually brings in new furniture but the carpet and curtains have to be changed. Bathrooms are re-designed to complement the new look of the room. Everything should be picture perfect when the bride arrives.
The fantasy which begins with the shopping, the pre-wedding merriments, friends’ gatherings, dholkis, mayoon and mehndi reaches its peak at the grand wedding and valima receptions.
But in all these feverish activities, the groom’s parents who were so choosy about the prospective wife of their son and the bride’s parents who were so particular to find out every detail about the person who had proposed for their daughter’s hand, completely forget to teach their offspring what marriage is really about.
Parents, who spend so much time, energy and, of course, money on their children’s weddings, don’t deem it important to guide them about the responsibilities which come with a married life and the facts regarding the rights and duties concerning their future spouse. Things which should be the foremost on the list of wedding preparations are totally ignored or given a back-seat. So, most couples enter into matrimony only thinking about their wedding and not marriage, totally confused about the demands of this new stage of life.
Both husband and wife have a different set of problems. The girl ties the nuptial knot thinking that life after marriage is one long honeymoon, where you live in grand houses, shop till you drop, eat out in expensive eateries on a regular basis and your spouse does nothing except pampering you, and even at home you are dressed in designer clothes and wear full makeup and expensive jewellery.
Once the post-wedding partying and enjoyments are over and the bride is expected to slip into the role of a wife and home-maker, reality starts to set in. Most girls fail to realise that they should leave behind the fantasy which was only temporary. The groom has lots of more important things at hand, other than complying with her moods and whims. She cannot expect him to leave a ‘I love you’ note when he is getting late to office, neither to bring her roses every day, and surely not on the days when he has had an extra tiring schedule or problems with his boss.
The groom has his own set of disappointments. As the bride slips into the role of a home-maker, she may also want to go back to her job. When he comes home, she may also be tired after a hard day’s work, so he cannot expect her to be dressed up as a doll, starry-eyed and swooning over him at the slightest pretext. And if she has been cooking or cleaning or dusting, she will not emit the fragrance of roses.
The bubble of fantasy may have all the colours of a rainbow, but bubbles are bound to burst. Instead of feeling disappointed or disillusioned, the couple could have coped better if their parents had guided them correctly. The early months of a marriage are usually the make or break ones. For dreamers, this journey can be a survival in an unhappy marriage and for the more extreme ones just begin and end with a big jolt. More sensible couples, after the initial disappointment, adapt quickly to the demands of a married life. But the truth is that this journey from fantasy to reality can change lives, for better or for worse.
Published in Dawn, Sunday Magazine, September 11th, 2016
I am in the middle of an important discussion, attending a wedding reception, watching an interestin…
Source: IF I LOVE ALLAH….!
Thought provoking, moving and inspiring ayats from the Quran with a very well written explanation of each one….May Allah guide all of us to the path leading to Paradise
And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and a garden as wide as the heavens and earth, prepared for the righteous.
Those who spend [in the cause of Allah] during ease and hardship and who restrain anger and who pardon the people – and Allah loves the doers of good.
And those who, when they commit immorality or wrong themselves, remember Allah and seek forgiveness for their sins – and who can forgive sins except Allah? and (who) do not persist in what they have done knowingly.
How beautiful is Islam, full of hope, for the door to forgiveness is always open till the last breath.
These verses from Surah Aal-e-Imran have multiple inter-related themes. Here I am, marveling at each verse and each word and each letter that is meaningful beyond comprehension. With gentle love and…
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