Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Testing the Limits of Your True Potential

Feroz shows the way from gathering pity to making history

(Mr. Feroz Ahmad Paray, 22, was born in Kalampora in Pulwama District. He completed his B.Sc. degree (pre-medical stream) from the Government College in Pulwama, and is currently pursuing post graduation in Business Economics from Wigan & Leigh College in Srinagar. His personal interests vary from writing poems and playing cricket to net surfing and shopping. His favorite author is Khalil Gibran.)

Believe in yourself

“Blame yourself if you have no branches or leaves; don’t accuse the sun of partiality” (Chinese proverb)

Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Everyone has limits. But we never know our limits, until our skills, potential and talent has been put to test. Never say, “This is all I can do, unless you have tried to do it.” Do you know that humans use only 10% of their brain? You have each and every thing. You have the resources. You have the capability. You just need to find it, and the first place to look into is within yourself. That’s the first and foremost thing you can do.

Our skills double when we face danger. We do every odd thing to escape from that danger. We see, hear, smell and move faster. It shows that we’re capable to act and do much more than we think. We are just too afraid at times. But what are we afraid of? Are we afraid we may actually find our true strength? Or is it, we just need to be pushed to find our true potential.

“What is the most universal human characteristic; fear, or laziness?” Some of us aren’t afraid. We just aren’t bothered. ‘So what’? are the two most dangerous accountable words. “So what I am weak? So what, I am not using my abilities to their best?” These are questions that can never be answered. But think about it for a while; if everyone starts asking you the same questions, how will you feel? If all the great leaders fuss: ‘so what the country is unhappy?’, if your grocer yells: so what, you are hungry?’’, if your garbage collector tells you: so what, your home is dirty? pointing their fingers to you, how will you feel?
Replace that acidic, “so what” with the hopeful, “what if?”
“What if you become some great person worth remembering?”
“What if you can make people proud of you?”

The thing that’s worse than quitting or failing is--being complacent: Believing that you are weak and that is all you are capable of. When you start to say, “This is the way I am and there is nothing I can do about it,” that is when you hit rock bottom. No one can help you in such a situation. Even the skills that you have mastered will be a waste with such an attitude. Believe in yourself, and then only you can expect others to believe in you. Keep going. Keep believing in yourself, because the race is not won by the swift, but by those who keeps on running.

So friends, what are you waiting for? Start changing yourself. Care for others even if no one else does care for you. The man who cannot believe in himself cannot believe in anything else.

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