They Stand Most Straight who Learn to Walk Beneath Weight

This essay on Social Psychology is contributed by Muhammad Umar Javed

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The beauty of human beings is to have same experiences but different perspectives. It is more of subjective than of objective. As five is the sum of different numbers, likely, human beings are the sums of their different innate abilities; a weak one is supported by the strong one. Universality in human beings is against the law of nature. If a teacher asks a question to his students the answers will be same but expressions will be different. The response to a danger may be different but intention is the same to avoid it. If a hunter sees a lion in the jungle he will definitely endeavor for his life. Every prey strives for his life. Human beings are the prey of their problems. In any situation, hope and despair, they always compete with each other like day and night. Although some human beings are unable to show their psychological and physical strength in a nerve racking situation, however, in most of the cases, human beings can be judged on their psychological and physical strength to overcome the social, economic and academic pressure. Pressure develops the motivation of doing work. The endurance becomes a judging factor for the strength of an individual, a family, an industry or a nation.

Had there been no hard time, the harder people would never have showed their worth. Had there been no poverty, there would be no Abdus Sattar Edhi.

One’s material and emotional demands are attached to one’s society. Any crisis in one’s demands can either break or make one’s personality. The rehabilitating strength is judged by the intensity of crisis. The harder the time one faces, the harder one works to show one’s physical and mental strength. Being a part of society, every human being has to face the social problems. Terrorism is a social issue faced by Pakistan. Some believe that it can be overcome while others just avoid it. The terrorism is nothing a great problem unless one faces it. The depth of an ocean cannot be judged from its surface. When one sees the dead body of one’s relative, the notion of revenge comes into one’s mind. One utilizes one’s emotional pressure as one’s physical strength against terrorism. Such lethal moments require psychological stability and physical control of the situation. It has been admitted that Pakistan is among the most dangerous countries on the earth which itself is a proof of the strength of Pakistanis striving against the difficult situation of security. A recent bomb blast raised a new story of strength, valor and courage. In the situation of face to face encounter with a suicide killer a boy named Aitzaz showed his mettle [1]. Like a tea bag, he absorbed the situation and gave his color to it. He was an ordinary boy but the situation proved him extra-ordinary. Social problems are the parameters of judging the steel nerves of an individual. On the other side, during THE WORLD WAR II (1939-1945), Fleming discovered penicillin because he had to face the national pressure. Bombs were introduced which caused wound infections. Pringle stated this fact as:

“There was no solution—and the problem was tremendous. For the first time in warfare high explosives were used extensively, and the wounds that were not infected were rare indeed. The surgeons were unprepared. The healing of war wounds was revolutionized. Penicillin arrived just in time to save countless lives.”[2].

Had there been no hard time, the harder people would never have showed their worth. Had there been no poverty, there would be no Abdus Sattar Edhi.

Pakistan was established due to the social pressure. Had there been no brutal Congress Government (1937-1939) in sub-continent, the flames of separation would never have raised to its utmost ideological strength. It created racial and religious discrimination among the citizens of same country which resulted in the world’s biggest mass mobilization. Similarly, the world came to know the strength of Turkish nation after THE WORLD WAR I (1914-1918), when the Padishah (Mehmet 4) tried to collaborate with the Allied forces. Mustafa Kamal made the most significant reply in the history of Ottoman Empire:

“I shall stay in Anatolia until the nation has won its independence.” [3]

The socially devastated nation rose up against the World’s super powers. Briefly speaking, all the world’s revolutions were due to some social pressure, which those nations faced and they rose up against it to show their sense of self-independence. This fact is supported as:

The hidden forces of human beings appear under the crisis and fulfill their necessity.

“I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from the areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.” [4]

Secondly, the economic situation of a person is a checkerboard of his psychological strength. In an ant’s colony, the economy depends upon the amount of food brought in. If some ants die, others have to bring in large food pieces. Likely, in a poor family of three, if the child has pneumonia, the parents will have to show their mental and physical strength to save the life of their child. Commercial investment trust (CIT) saved bankruptcy in hard times which showed its managerial and organizational strength with which it coped with the problem [5]. Problems do come in a company but a successful company is the one which tackles it. After World War II, the economy of Japan was destroyed by the demolition of its two big cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The country had to make some bitter decisions in hard times and now, the economy of Japan is among the leading ones. Similarly, the State bank of Pakistan was settled with no building but today it strengthens the country’s economy. It has achieved this status by proving itself in hard economic situation. In Pakistan, the socio-economic pressure strengthens the group psychology. The marriages of women are regarded as a problem for the poor families because of dowry but they work hard under this pressure and improve their economy. The better job of a person is the first priority of the parents to marry their daughters. Young men work best under the burden of better job to have a better life and utilize their strength to make up their economic condition.

Thirdly, the psychological and mental strength of a student is judged during the exams. To have a promising financial career a student has to pass the exam with good grades. So this pressure makes the exam period depressing for the students. However, the exponential increase in study during exam period is somewhat to absorb the knowledge of whole semester and they manage the pressure and time successfully. Some students do not show up an excellent surprise test result but they do perform extraordinary in their final exams and pass out with a good grade. Apparently, they are like ordinary tea bags but in reality, they give a ‘strong’ educational competition. The reason is that they deal with the educational pressure at eleventh hour with their full mental energies. They do not overlook anything by thinking that they had already prepared for it. In other words, they study thoroughly before the exams and go through each minor detail that can come into the exam. Some must think that they may mess up with their studies in this way but the situation is more challenging and study pressure does work when they accept it as a challenge. Such students are not the ones who remain depressed all the time about their studies and make up a ‘phobia’ for the exam. It helps one to be successful in practical life pressures as one has exercised the ability to cope with the educational pressure. That’s why the semester systems are more fruitful and validating than annual systems. The medical colleges used to have annual system in Pakistan are now replaced by sub-stage system where there is a sense of continuous educational pressure for the students.

Contrarily, some people think that human beings do not show up their full strength in difficult situation and they fall a ‘prey’ to it. This misconception occurs when one confuses economic, social and academic pressure with prolonged stress. Even Jinnah, who was mentally a strong man and showed his psychological strength at many occasions of political encounter, lost his heart in stress of pessimism, a form of prolonged stress. In that situation, one needs a ‘chord of support’ besides one’s own strength to gather the distracted focus, as the tea bag needs the one to save it from sinking into the hot water. For Jinnah that ‘chord of support’ was Iqbal, who encouraged Jinnah to continue his efforts of national interest. Similarly, some students become nervous in examination hall and cannot show up their psychological strength. In other words, the pressure transforms into stress for their peculiar human machinery. They are mostly the ones with sensitive personality. Such students do show their mettle in class tests, in a less difficult situation.

Undoubtedly, ‘where there is a will, there is way’, and desperate wills are formed under the sense of physical or psychological pressure which boosts up the strength to find the way. Human beings maintain a balance in their lives by counter-acting to the problems they face and know their strength. Communities prosper under this pressure and countries learn dignity and conscious under this social and economic pressure. The students exercise practical life skills under the educational pressure and know about their strength. The hidden forces of human beings appear under the crisis and fulfill their necessity. One gets the inner picture of oneself in unstable conditions. In a nutshell, if there were no problems, human beings would never have shown their real psychological and physical strength.


[1] Schoolboy, 14, hailed a hero after sacrificing his own life to save classmates from Pakistan suicide bomber

[2] “The Romance of Medical Science” by Patrick Pringle, published by George G, Harrap & Co. London, 1948.

[3] ”Grand Turk” by Wilfrid Castle ; an historical outline of life and events, of culture and politics, of trade and travel during the last years of the Ottoman Empire and the first years of the Turkish Republic, published by National Book Association [Foreword 1942].

[4] “I have a dream” by Martin Luther King Jr.

[5] Deposit Accounts

This essay on Social Psychology is contributed by Muhammad Umar Javed

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