On Mental Wheelchairs



By Umer Raza Bhutta

Have seen people on wheelchairs in Pakistan and abroad. Those on wheelchairs are treated specially. They have designated parking areas, lifts or escalator service areas, special rest rooms and are given chance to have priority over others when in queue. However, those in Pakistan have been through to a different and difficult ordeal than those who go through this pain in any developed country. But we must admit at the same time that recognition is fast and wide taking root in Pakistan as well. Now we see special areas where the people on wheel chairs are given precedence over others.  However, at certain time we get clamped down by the people on wheel chairs – Please understand this – I am not referring to those who are on physical wheel chairs but those who are physically fit but …………still on wheelchair.

Examples of such people are in abundance. Those who want precedence over others are in fact everywhere around us. These people are on Mental Wheelchairs. They need assistance at each step of the way and want to gain superiority over others. But since we are also on a mental wheelchair we tend to be led, channeled, guided and fooled by those who are on a better mental wheelchair.

What happens in a long spell of load shedding in evening, you are sitting in a dark room without any illumination. When the power returns at first you close your eyes and try to adjust with the standard of light in the room. Your eyes might need some rubbing in the beginning. Just remember a good old escape movie from Hollywood and you will recall that when a prisoner is sent to solitary confinement in a dark room for months and months, he gradually loses not only the site but also the courage. When he moves out he is taken initially on physical wheelchair. This is what happening to us without being in the solitary confinement. We have been left in the dark for so long that we see many on wheelchairs now. We need assistance and with that additional push we want to stand at the top of the queue. I may become too philosophical and controversial in saying this, but I see people of all age, gender, education and segment of society on such wheel chairs. This mental wheelchair cripples our thinking. Sadly once we get over that wheel chair we do not bother to get off. The wheel chair drags us around instead of we dragging it.

This mental wheel chair asks us to believe every other religious, political, business and social thug coming our way. Since we are sitting on this wheel chair we want a hand to push us further and take us towards the illuminated light in a jiffy. Over the years we have seen this happening and even now this same idea is taking root when we are looking forward for an overnight change. We want that someone at a distance to call our name and ask us to get off from our wheelchair so that we could walk. But just when we are about to get off from the chair the person calling us runs away and we fall down again in our disillusioned chair. We do not then want to take another step and walk our own way. We sit on our mental wheelchair again and look around for another one to come forward.

The mental wheelchair exists because of disbelief. We want to move ahead with an “end in Mind” (a popular habit envisioned and explained by Late Mr. Franklin Covey – in his bestselling book Seven Habits of Highly effective people), but forget that there has to be a start also. If we have a false start we may not reach the end line in time. This start is our belief. If we have started with a wrong belief whatever end is in our mind, we might reach there but with a terrible resistance and what will happen if at our destination we are informed (or know by ourselves) that this was not the point we had to reach. This is where when we have to lift ourselves from the Mental Wheelchairs we have been jammed for years and years. It might only be possible if we look back at the beliefs that we have crafted. I am not asking to change the belief system but just revisit and see if this is the product of what you have SEEN happening and what looks good/bad or is the product of the answer to your question of what is right and wrong.

Published by Umer Raza

He is currently Managing Partner for Abundance Business and Consulting and previously held full time positions at Trans World Associates as Head of Human Resource & Training, Faisalabad Serena Hotel & Islamabad Serena Hotel as Manager Human Resource & Training and Crescent Bahuman Ltd. as Team Lead HR & Training He is authorized trainer, consultant and Coach for National Business Development Program of Government of Pakistan for SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) and a nominated trainer and visiting faculty member for Pakistan Industrial Technical Assistance Center (PITAC).   He is Chartered Member of Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) UK. and author of three books “Choose or be chosen”, “Chahat (The Want)”, “Becoming an Entrepreneur”. Umer is married to Dr. Atika and the couple has three daughters. He can be reached at umerrazabhutta@gmail.com and his twitter handle is @BhuttaUmer

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