Why I refuse to mourn Abdul Sattar Edhi
After I got to know of Edhi’s demise, I couldn’t sleep at night. My mind kept going back to the work he carried out and the people he left behind. I kept scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed which was full of posts by people mourning this great loss and saying that no hope was left for Pakistan anymore.
For some time, I repeated the same things inside my head but then it hit me that it would take a lifetime for the world to see another like him. There was literally no one to walk the earth the way this single man had. Thus, I refused to fall prey to the mourning mind-set.
We, as a nation, have mourned enough. We mourned when we picked up the smallest coffins. We mourned our brothers and sisters who didn’t share our religious beliefs. We mourned activists, teachers, doctors and qawals.
Every time we mourn, it’s like the world stops for that time period and somewhere in our hearts we lose faith in humanity. We lose that faith in being a Pakistani. Our nation gets stuck in a dark tunnel seeping further into it with no ray of hope at the end.
So, there will be no mourning when it comes to Edhi. Not for me!
Because, I will only celebrate his life.
I will celebrate him for having the courage to do things others were too repulsed or perhaps reluctant to do for their own reasons. I will rejoice his tenacity to become a huge welfare figure out of nothing. I will cherish his ability to love unconditionally every single being regardless of race, religion or any such mundane standards.
He extended love to a person with mental health issues who set his four-year-old grandson on fire. Edhi sahib, later buried him himself. I will remember and celebrate his passion to give beyond himself.
Even as he left this world, his legacy didn’t come to a halt – he wanted to donate his organs. Yes, that was his last wish. Even death could not break his spirit of giving.
I will celebrate his detachment to materialism. Despite having billions of rupees coming in, he stuck to his mission. Not once did he get swayed by money and abandon those who needed him.
He was someone who we could call ‘our very own’ and the best way to pay tribute to his life is embodying the person he was. He wasn’t the one who felt sorry for our nation. He never did. He didn’t wait around for someone to come and change things. He changed them himself. He was a reminder that we don’t need titles or positions to bring a change. Edhi taught us how an ordinary man can change the world with only passion and dedication. He was unstoppable. Death can never take his legacy away.
I got to witness, in my lifetime, one of the greatest men who lived on this planet. His life was rich in every sense. He used his time in this world beautifully, leaving behind his footsteps for us to follow. His departure is a great loss but we can try to compensate it by becoming like him. The pain of this loss is definitely piercing through our hearts but we need to use that grief to transform us into a better human like Edhi sahib. It’s time we all look within ourselves and say,
“It is my turn to carry his legacy forward.”
Because just mourning is not going to do what he lived for!
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.