I have been talking about the dangers of alter egos. One main danger is losing our own decision power and giving up control to other people. I am not saying that other people don’t affect our decisions, but that relinquish of control should be intentional, not “blackmail”.
Pakistan was doing brilliantly on the foreign policy front ever since the incumbent government took charge. Even I, for a moment, fell for the idea that Pakistan was finally shedding its alter egos to nurture its original ego.
We found success in terms of aid, loans, release of prisoners, words, endorsements but most importantly we found a friend who bore personal loss to stand behind Pakistan’s ego.
Sadly, that friend was sacrificed, for our ego wasn’t strong enough.
This episode provides us with another moment of self reflection. But you know what we will do right? We will blame a person, find faults in that person, make ourselves feel better for being wiser than them because we would have done something better if we were in ‘power’. But what we forget is, we all are in power in our own lives. And are we really that different?
Do we not give undue power to others in governing our lives? Do we not allow the fear of getting bad grades make us cheat? Do we not allow the fear of getting fired make us lie that we are sick, when we are just out partying? Do we not betray confidences to be more likeable? Do we not betray our “friends” when we say that they don’t need to lose weight because we fear they will like us less if we told them it is unhealthy? Do we not condone a popularly supported wrong, even if through our silence, because of our fear of being ostracized? Do we not delete our posts for the fear of being judged by others? Do we not stay silent when we see one friend being unfair to another friend because of the fear of offending either party? Do we not witness silently, or even laugh along, while the bully bullies because we fear if we speak the truth we will be the next target of the bully? Do we not stop ourselves from doing something we passionately know to be right, for the fear of “loog kia kahen gai”?
We all do that, and while doing so we relinquish control. We let others dictate us. We let others choose for us. We let the artist within us die, we let the friend within us die, we let the kid within us die but most importantly we let the human within us die.
I know it is not easy to take back control. But we need to start somewhere. Let this Pakistan’s foreign policy debacle be a moment of reflection instead of a political blame game.
Let’s start working on how we can take back that control. Let’s stop sacrificing ourselves because we are “blackmailed “. Let’s stop being a victim and take back control. Let’s strengthen our ego.