Sometimes Pakistani Youth Need To Think: What If I Am Wrong?

The Peculiar ways of thinking, a short project, which was the main theme of a leadership program that I attended back in 2016, part of yearly humanities program. A project emphasised on how to broaden your knowledge and think peculiarly about your opinion which all comes with a question “What if I am wrong?” I cannot recall all of the program’s outcomes, but the only thing stayed with me is that question which reflect on to the whole program and especially The Peculiar ways of thinking. This process of thinking always comes to my mind whenever I have debate, conversation or argument with someone about a topic. I feel that there is a strong need of a program like this for fellow Pakistanis. whenever I interact  with fellow Pakistanis on any topic, they hardly ever think they are wrong. They dictate the whole argument to urge you that their side of the story or opinion is authentic which in most cases, is not. They impose the idea that what they know is the authentic dimension and must be believed. Most Pakistanis especially youth living in 2017 need lessons on thinking outside the box and knowing another perspective. The peculiar ways of thinking can help those Pakistanis to structure well informed mind.

The peculiar ways of thinking was planned in a way that you have to form an opinion on a given topic and then divide class room into two sections based on their opinions match. We researched the topic and came to a conclusion. Then each side of the class presented their opinion to the other opposite. After exchange of opinions, my professor asked a question which I will never forget, she emphasised us to think with the help of this question in mind “What if I am wrong? This embarked us on a new journey of research and sharing ideas with the other side. When that question was asked, everybody questioned their opinion and that build up a surface for more healthy discussion. Everybody listened to one another for learning purposes to either strengthen their opinion or change it. At the end of the day almost all the class came up with a changed opinion. By the end of the day everyone had internalised the purpose of the exercise which is critical thinking, extensive research and listening to others.

Most of Pakistani youth on social media are wondering around imposing only the ideas or side of the story they know. They totally disregard other rationales and don’t even bother to think about it. Those “keyboard warriors” leave no means to degrade others and dominate their argument which all comes with a force to agree with them. For more healthier discussion, recently I asked the same question from one of my friend after we had an argument about a topic. He refused to take that question because it involved further evaluation. This is not just the story of only my friend but the majority of Pakistani youth. Critical thinking and analysis is a comprehensive process which takes time and research.

The Peculiar ways of thinking or critical thinking process makes you well informed and that helps in deciding what’s right or wrong. For the right thing to do, thinking process evolves ideas and acknowledgment of every point of view. This is not only limited to academics and journalism but expands to every common mind. To question everything and then find answers is the way to foster learning. Especially for millennials, they should see everything with broader perspective and that will give you the room to change ourselves as well as community. Societal change in Pakistan is the essence of time, some societal norms rooted in Pakistan for centuries are confronting human rights. Those societal norms have long been damaging our community as whole. A recent poll about Social Behaviour by Gallup Pakistan reveals shocking results that “7 in 10 Pakistanis believe it is essential to adopt societal norms (both good and bad) to succeed in life.” Millennials are in the same pace of adopting both good and bad of the society. Millennials vs others: No significant difference in the views of millennials. For uplifting Pakistan’s civilisation millennials are the ones to act. For a society to prosper and keep up with compact world, it’s very important to adopt modern values. World is more compatible than ever before and millennials in Pakistan can change the destiny of  our Pakistani community. To elevate community to the height where brutal societal norms are eliminated.

A very tiny minority in Pakistan are progressing and inheriting the fact that intellect sharing is the way forward. They go through thought process to understand different spectrums of ideas.

For the change to come in our lives and societies, we must appreciate debates, arguments and conversations that’s based on rationales. Academic institutions must provide an environment where “What if I am wrong?” questions are perceived as ingredients to think. The peculiar ways of thinking gave me lesson for life. I drew significant value from that and it helps me generate ideas that’s based on critical thinking process. Whenever you know something and give your opinion, please ask one question from yourself “What if I am wrong?”

Yousaf Khan

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