By Rimla Batool

Hey cuties of the Young Nation!

 We have Pakistan Day coming up on Wednesday this week. Being a holiday across the country, most of us would wake up early morning on the 23rd to watch, on TV, the parade expected to take place in Islamabad.

But watching a parade; is it just what this day is about? I say no.

How about this year, we try and observe Pakistan Day with a new promise to play our part in making this country shine bright. How, you may ask, can we deliver on such a promise?

 Well, here are a few ideas to help you get started:

Keep Pakistan Clean

We all read the messages telling us to ‘Keep our country clean’ all around us. But sadly, very few of us actually follow through. This year, let’s promise to change that. Now, whenever you have a wrapper from that ice cream you had or a candy you chewed, don’t just toss it out of your car window or throw it right on the ground as you walk. That one wrapper might seem like a tiny piece of litter that wouldn’t make much mess, but remember that it takes tiny drops to make an ocean. In this situation, it would be an ocean of filth across our towns and cities.

Find a trashcan or take the wrappers home with you and toss them in your dustbin.   Next, when it’s time to take out the trash from home, make sure to dump it in the spots designated for trash picking by the municipal authorities.  This way, you will be keeping the trash off the roads and parks while easing the job of the workers in keeping the country clean.

Keep Pakistan Honest

One of the most important impressions a nation can make on the world is through its honesty which only comes to people when they practice it in their day-to-day lives. Try to perform your duties, at home, school or work, to the best of your abilities. It is completely okay if you are not good at everything you do, no one is. So don’t cheat to ace that test at school or take all credit for the team project you had very little to do with at work. Don’t make promises you know you can’t fulfil. Admit your mistakes and shortcomings in conflict. It may seem a lot to do at once, but if we start from 23rd March this year and work on being a truer and more honest version of ourselves, little-by-little, by the next year we can be a whole new person. And fingers crossed, a whole new and better Pakistani!

Keep Pakistan Tolerant

We all love peace. We wish for a peaceful Pakistan. But how can we make it peaceful? Answer: through tolerance!  

Tolerating opposing opinions and actions of those around us, and giving them the space to express themselves as they want is what helps maintain harmony and peace.  Our country is a democratic one, with a right to free speech and expression for all. If there is anyone breaking a law in the guise of free expression, we have the authorities to handle such a situation. As citizens, all what we are obligated to do is report any possible breach of law to the authorities.  So the next time you feel a little irked by what someone said or did or wore, keep calm and remind yourself of your promise to be more tolerant for the sake of your beloved country.

Keep Pakistan Strong

For a strong and mighty Pakistan, we need strong and mighty Pakistanis! So take care of yourselves, little ones. You are this country’s future. It needs you to not only be smart and hardworking but also healthy and happy. Eat well, sleep well. Keep active, adopt healthy habits and keep friends who help you be a better person. Make a promise to take good care of yourself this Pakistan Day so that you can take care of this country everyday in the upcoming years.

So on Pakistan Day this week, as you sing along with all your favourite national tunes, take a pledge to be the change you want to see in this country. Write to us about the promise you made and how you have kept it fulfilled all year till the next March 23rd. Your experience could be an inspiration to others around you.  

Happy Pakistan Day!

Published in Young Nation on March 26, 2016