Words To Live By

“Ask not what your country can do for you ask what you can do for your country”
– US President John F. Kennedy

Upon his appointment as the President of the United States, President John F Kennedy appealed to his fellow countrymen to come forward and contribute wholeheartedly towards the overall development of the United States of America. It is more often than not, that the citizens of a country remain in anticipation of the various welfares and free rides that the country may provide to them. They hope that their responsibilities as well as requirements would be taken care of by the country.

But, in the midst of this expectation, they tend to forget their own commitment and responsibility towards the country. It is not that just by doing his professional duties, obeying law or paying tax does one can call himself as good citizen. Every one should be dedicated and prepared to serve the country’s interest rather then their own. It is required for the people to understand that their deeds would affect the world around them. Their loyalty towards the country should be in line with their service towards their family and friends – without prejudice and selfishness. They should care sincerely about the condition of their community, society and the country as a whole.

The essence remains the fact that every countryman should do their own bit towards the welfare of their homeland, in whatever manner they can, and in the process unite for the betterment of the State. A reference may be drawn from the verses of the revered Hindu text “Shrimad Bhagawat Geeta” – which says a man’s action should be directed towards the performance rather than the result. The same can be applied here too. People’s actions towards their own country should be more contributory than expectation-oriented. It is only then that the State will be more enriched and better placed to offer its citizens a better quality of life!

As India’s Independence Day approaches on August 15, and Pakistan’s Independence Day on August 14, we should keep this famous quote in mind. It is a call to action for all Asians and Asian Americans living in the United States. Give back not only to your native homeland, but also to your new adopted homeland. Let us work together to improve the quality of life for our fellow citizens and families.

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