Moneyed vs. Rich

By Col Bakhtiar Hakeem

Relations, co-relations, systems and sub-systems are all intricately and interwoven web of cognizance. They keep changing meanings and therefore ramifications and implications. Customs, traditions and attitudes provide that fundamental base upon which we all stand qualified and specialized well before we attain our graduate and post graduate degrees. Culture runs like blood in the society, called preferences, norms and taboos. All what we grow on and benefit from; like food or medicine, water or alcohol poison or milk enters through one hole, called mouth. Should we live like a physical hole?

Only a few change and change very little through what they learn, gain and absorb from the later years of life but first six or seven. Otherwise they only differ by their professions. And for an overwhelming majority, profession only means, means to earn, or at best a set of skills and techniques, to be proud of. Lucky and brave are the ones who call themselves educated, and wish to grow all the time. Since they think and believe they are educated. And education must manifest in exhibited behavior. Let us break the shackles of customs, conventional wisdom, traditions, grooves and taboos. More one grows in his/her profession; age and social stature, less and lesser are the chances to grow; for richer and bigger the ego poorer the influence of ‘education’. Our system of education is such that certificates and degrees mean a measure of literacy. They all mean how much more one has got, and not how much more one has given. Our system of reward has made us to focus on who got the gold medal, and not on the one who gave the gold medal. Therefore, who is moneyed and who is rich; these two concepts are warped, distorted and pretty subjective. Let us revisit what is being moneyed and who is rich.

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Let us see the similarities and areas of difference in these pictures. You see a candle illuminating the area around it. And the light is good enough with in a few feet. An energy saver bulb is lighting up all of its surroundings, up to tens of feet. A search light can push the darkness out of its beam way by hundreds of feet. Then there is a light tower, showing way, and giving hope over many many miles. Of course we all know what Sun is doing for all of us and the life on this planet.

There is another set of pictures. These have a different paradigm of similarities and relationship. You see some water being poured in a tumbler. It is containing some and of course it can take a little bit more. Concept of glass and water go hand-n-glove, in any case. So would be the image of a wallet and money. You see a bucket, call it bucket of water. Same way it can hold some and have some more, a drum would hold still greater quantity of water. Then we can see huge reservoirs of some fluid. The image of an over-head water tank, half filled and half waiting to be filled, would serve the same purpose.

Now we shift the focus to human beings.

A person drawing ten thousand rupees per month with a family of five to support; enjoys his bi-cycle ride from and to the office daily. On his way, he stops at a specific bus stop. And he picks up one old man, for a lift over three km, to his office. What is he like? Match a picture.

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A millionaire, a retired senior officer has been trying to shake-hand with Malik Riaz, the business tycoon. The former wants to be a multi-millionaire if not a billionaire. What is he like? Moneyed he is already!

An unskilled laborer had earned his part payment that Thursday evening. He went over to the usual road-side hotel and ordered for his favorite bun-makhan and tea. Just when he had done with delicious buttered bun, and started sipping tea, his friend arrived. Man with hot big mug of tea in his hands asked his friend if he would care for tea, with a hearty smile. The friend settling across the table, with a grateful smile, said yes. Okay, just get an empty cup. He got one, and the host laborer poured half of his tea for him. What is like?

There was a senior officer on official visit to Murree. While checking-out of Mess he was presented with a Mess Bill. And he had to pay for his boarding and lodging. It was quite a shock for him, since the host institution did not pay for him. Moneyed he was!

Who does not know Mr. Abdul Sattar Edhi. He nursed his sick mother for eight long years, when she died he was only nineteen. Came to Karachi in 1947, and was no more than a peddler to start with. He opened a free dispensary, and soon bought his first Hi-ace wagon to run as an ambulance. This purchase included a sum of Rs. 12,000, as loan. Today he runs world’s biggest ambulance service. He was never moneyed to start with. What was he trying to be all along? Was not he rich always? What is he now?

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Thought and ideas are like seeds. Flowers and fruits are the yield. Look at the very first picture once more.

May you be rich.