By Murtaza Mansoor
He hasn’t conquered any territory. He hasn’t achieved anything in the field of academics. He isn’t a noble prize winner. No one takes out page for his autographs. He doesn’t even know what a billboard is, or what fame is.
Yet he is a personality I am inspired a lot by! Who is he? Not an artist, nor a scientist, nor a teacher, nor anyone whose name known by many! When we are asked to write about a personality, who inspired us, we always think of great people of history. We don’t look around ourselves, where un-noticed people are making small contributions too, which collectively makes up history.
He is no more than a simple WAITER of a poor road side restaurant in Rawalpindi!! The only aspect which inspires me is his MEMORY.
Short-term memory. Giving a duty from 8pm to 8am, daily taking hundreds of orders, many at a time, calculating their bills mentally, and then remembering the bills till the customers stay, and even adding up extra-ordered things in the bill, never once has he miscalculated or forgotten any – at least over the last 4 years I have been going to that restaurant for tea. Is it natural? Or is it developed over years of experience? He always makes me appreciate the value of education and schooling. Makes me think “What if he had attended school? Had gained proper education? Would have opted a professional academic career, with his outstanding memory? What kind of person would he have been in that case?”
Sometimes I wish there was a device or technique that could accumulate memory data and recall them collectively. But a person with such a great natural gift, who could have excelled in any field he would have gone into, his talent is being wasted.
One may not have such extra-ordinary memory, but he can still develop it by continuous revision. One may not have photogenic memory, but he can develop it by repeatedly looking at the images. But what one can’t do is reverse the flow of time back to the age when we had devloping minds, accepting knowledge, understanding new ways and methods, when we only know the basics. A child can simply know about the functions of new mobile, whereas an old scientist would be all confused and lost in that little device. What bad will it bring to society if education is free till matriculation at least? What bad will it bring if education is given more importance at national level in terms of expenditures? What bad will it bring if languages are compulsory to teach so as to bridge the gap between our society and the international world? Only answer coming to my mind is NO BAD! Many such natural talents are being wasted due to lack of education, due to lack of sources for education, or due to lack of access to costly education.
We can’r do it all, we have to be united for this cause. For the sake of our future, for the sake of competition, we need to take action now, requesting Government authorities to kindly participate actively too, hand in hand with private workers for this cause.
The significance of education can be summed up through the fact that the very first revelation of the Quran was with the word ‘Iqra’, meaning ‘to read.’