There comes a time in every man’s life, especially when he’s young, when he wants to find himself role models, idealize them and be just like them. The role models are usually people who are in line with what you believe in or what you want from life.These are the people who probably were like you, or close when they were your age, or people who you wish to be when you’re their age . These are the people who you want to know more about what they did during their childhood, their experience of growing up and how they tackled difficulties in their lives.
I am going through a similar period – looking for role models. A thing most common in all successful people is that they had role models. From their fathers, to teachers or someone they read about or saw on TV.
Some people make prophets their role models, others like Ashfaq Ahmed used to sit with the poor people to look for inspiration.
It’s an exciting time to be young and energetic. The world is your playground and if you do everything right, there is no stopping you from reaching the top. However, to make sure that everything indeed is right, you have to have guidance. During my visit to Lahore I visited many family members alone to sit with them and listen to their stories. I was deeply impressed how most of them came from such humble backgrounds and fought their way to the top. I could see that they felt the same way as I do today when they were my age. They could sense that I have the same fire in me as they had in them.
One such example is my nana’s brother, Ghulam Rasool Qureshi, a leading pathologist today in Lahore. Dr. G.R.Qureshi was the son of a laborer, a daily wager. He lived in a small house which he shared with 31 other people. There used to be only one bathroom in the house. Under these circumstances most people would have given up or maybe ran away. Some might have become criminals. But he refused to give up. He studied from money borrowed from friends and well wishers and became a doctor. By the time he became a doctor he had a loan of about 10000 Rs on him (a huge sum in the 60′s – 70’s). Realizing that merely becoming a doctor in Pakistan was not going to be enough to repay the loan and support the family, he worked harder and went to the US (on borrowed money) to get training as a doctor over there. After a few years in the US he came back and established his own laboratory in Lahore by the name of Qureshi lab. The qureshi lab went on to become one of the leading laboratories in Punjab for many years before Shaukat Khanum and other labs came in and made this profession a business . Dr. G.R.Qureshi was recently awarded a lifetime achievement award by the govt. of Pakistan for his services as a teacher and a pathologist.
Another example is one of the brothers of my mother (my mamoo) who grew up in similar conditions and is now a very successful engineer in KSA.
I also admire the way my father has made his way forward, working honestly in an environment where bribery and kickbacks work the best. He spent much of his childhood near the Khanewal railway station and received primay education at a local school and then made education his key to a better life. He MashaAllah has a MBA, LLB and a few other degrees and education achievements. It is because of my parents’ efforts that I always studied amongst the sons of feudal lords, industrialists, landlords, and people from government services. 50 years ago who could have thought of that? I feel no shame at all saying I am the son of a humble family.
The reason I admire people who fought against the odds and made their way forward is because I want to be like them and prove that you can be honest and still succeed .You can belong to a humble family background and still be more successful than the sons of the feudal lords. You don’t have to be rich to be rich. You don’t have to bow down to the corrupt and powerful to make your way forward. You don’t have to be a part of the system if the system is sick. If you work hard there is no one who can beat you. If you work hard there is no stopping you.
I hope that my kids read this one day, and that they are equally proud of me, or even more, the way I am of my humble but a fighting and hard-working family. I hope when my kids are my age, they are the classmates of the children of the world leaders. I hope when I’m older and younger people read this, they are inspired to work honestly. I hope people find a role model and inspiration in me, just as I am now looking for role models in different people.