No substitute for hard work?

Thomas Edison famously said, “there is no substitute for hard work”

Had he been alive today and conscious of prevailing trends in our society, he would have revised his original words and added many substitutes putting hard work at the bottom of the list

Owing to the growing substitution of hard work with cheap means for success, he would not have hesitated a moment to outweigh other things over hard work

Today, many alternative strategies are increasingly bypassing hard work as the proven key to success

More interesting, however, is the level of internalisation, general acceptance and almost complete impunity from every criterion of decency

The concept of success has entirely changed with its changing definition and the means of achieving it

Whatever benefits one is not only success but also rightful, legal, ethical and constitutional under the existing conditions

The wrong is becoming the new right and law of the land

Considering this, Edison would have redefined the meaning of success altogether from an outcome of morally good efforts to amoral and senseless pursuits and profits

For Edison, playing politics would have topped the list as the key to success

This is because politics in Pakistan is nothing more than the practice of ruthless concentration of power and blatant embezzlement of resources and riches

An anarchic practice, it is another name for plundering a country’s resources to the detriment of people

Those enjoying stakes in national politics enjoy unprecedented success by all means and measures

The second on the list would have been the marketing of justice

Rather than a tool for fairness, it affords lucrative ends for those associated with championing, protecting and providing it

Instead of delivering justice, the country’s administration quietly mints money by cashing in on the chaos and lawlessness in our country

Religion would have made it number three on the list of keys to success

The exploitation of people’s ignorance, insecurities and beliefs bring the greatest and uncontested success to the stakeholders

Financial, social, and political stakes are but the few shapes of success that marketing religious beliefs bring

Keeping in view of the liking, scope and general acceptance, it is an injustice to put corruption in fourth place on the list

However, for the sake of consistency, it’s better late than never

Our society’s growing inclination, indoctrination, legalisation, and institutionalisation of corruption stems from the unmatched financial dividends it offers

The level of corruption is directly proportional to one’s social standing

Hypocrisy, for the right reasons, would have earned the fifth position on the scale of the lucrative substitutes of hardwork

Given its common use and priceless profits, hypocrisy is fast transforming into our new moral and legal value

For instance, being a hypocrite ensures success and safeguards people against any assault

Lying, which can be considered our national policy, should not be left off the list

Individuals peddle lies in the name of honesty, politics, justice, divinity, religion, constitution, law and morality because it earns them innumerable benefits and stakes

Eventually, lies become the guiding principle of the people

Count on the riches of the country’s countless professional liars, and you would get the answer

Flattery and sycophancy should rightfully make it to number seven on the list

The easiest path to success is sycophancy as it only requires trading one’s consciousness and shame

The practice of appeasing, pleasing and bootlicking brings countless bounties to the extent that it becomes inspiring for the next generations

Edison would have reserved the eighth slot for innocent hard work

This is because genuine efforts in line with legal, moral, and ethical considerations get nothing more than what escapes the rest of the strategies

This is how the road to genuine hard work is becoming the least-trodden path to success in our society by the day

Published in The Express Tribune, February 12th, 2023

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Date:13-Feb-2023 Reference:View Original Link