Long break…. lonnnng break. Extra special thanks to Babar Bhatti and Mansoor for keeping the torch lit while we were away.
You know, honestly, I’ve recently gone through a lot of thoughts about the future of community and kinship and ways to take things forward… and the conclusions were mostly not very pretty or hopeful.
Its actually hard running a high-traffic, well regarded blog in the country – it becomes really hard having to choose the words you write when you start realizing that those words are influencing people – that some people are quitting their jobs and starting companies on your vague self-created notions of startup success; others might be taking your conflicted and complex gray-zoned view of the society around you as a solid bearing to help them with career choices, or (for expats) decisions of whether or not to move back to the country (and ofcourse I mean before the current environment).
It becomes particularly striking when you realize that cynical people in the community are starting to channel their frustrations in the world directly at you, personally, just because they may be thinking you’re sitting gleefully in ivory towers looking down at them.
The truth is that there’s a lot of things in the world that are downright ugly. They hurt, darken your soul and make you long for escape. They can sow hatred inside of us, making us push away or lash out the people around us that might mean anything to us. Its not just current affairs or the environment or economic woes – sometimes it can be the simplest of things that create deep feelings of helplessness, despair, envy, agony or more.
There’s no ivory towers for us – its not easy at all… we’re running our companies in the same environment, economic and business climate trying to create 6-month plans that dont include 3-4 layers of contingency planning; AND we’re also faced with expectations of our friends in despair within these communities who look to us to show them something hopeful.
Its not easy at all to do that, when you cant see anything positive around you. My team and I have written many several drafts in the time we were on a "break" but deleted them afterwards just because they were just too gloomy… all we were writing were stories of scams, economic downfalls, business slowdowns, socio-political issues, disturbing online trends and more.
We chose not to write unless we felt like being objective again. As you’ve seen, its taken a long time to get rid of the emotions within.
What’s brought me back to try and keep writing? Something Abdul Wahid said about what Green & White means to him, something Jehan Ara said about choosing to be positive and trying to seek out the good things happening in the country, something my friend Qazi said about leadership being defined by our efforts to uplift others in the worst of times, and the dozen or so people who emailed to ask if we were okay. Thanks to all of them.
Which isnt to say that we’ll be doing the same things that we were before… only that I still think the power of communities for greater good, for inspiration and for hope deserves another shot. I may not be writing as much but I’ll be trying to get more involved in higher-level plans for the GnW and other properties.
Right now, we’ll start by looking around and asking people to see what GnW could do, or what other types of community things we can start that people can start engaging themselves in.
It’ll take some time to start writing some interesting, non-gloomy stories again… like I said its just really hard to find any good examples these days, but lets see how this goes.
As I’ve said a number of times in the past, the only way of create hope is to create a community that respects each others’ ideas to work for the common good – if you believe in doing the same, get involved and get your friends to come here and get involved in figuring out what we can share, talk about or do online at G&W to help move everyone towards the light again.