When I started a blog, I got some questions about the motive behind beginning a page where I would (almost) regularly upload post after post. The title of the blog is tentative, but it clearly says ‘Writing towards Change’. Disregarding that, people were very curious about one thing.

Are you getting paid for it?

Gimme more!

As if the only reason any person would be doing something like this is for the money.

There just cannot be any other purpose I want to write and put posts up for everybody to see and share.

The sole intent of the time I spend on this, and my commitment to it, must obviously be the cash.

I am getting absolutely no payments from this. And I do not intend to get anything either.

Not looking to fatten my wallet, thanks.

My parents have struggled through all sorts of problems to educate and provide for their three daughters. The struggles were skewed towards bearing harsh criticism and mental stress that was being lavished on them by friends and (gasp) family members (Why are you spending so much on educating girls? What is the point?). A post on this some other day.

After all the time and efforts they spent: sending us to private international schools (abroad and in Pakistan), providing us with every last piece of stationery item, making sure our language skills were up to scale, edifying us about social, cultural and religious values; after all that, my objective in life was to start a blog and put up posts for $300 a month.

My purpose in life has been met.

We have decided to group each other according to our salary packages and fringe benefits. We get promotions, and with the extra cash, we upgrade our lifestyles by adding another brand, multiplying the time we spend eating out, or frequenting more clubs and discos with our buddies. We work harder at our jobs to get the extra $1000, so we can indulge in the extra $1000 of consumerism. We want the Macintoshes, we want the Nikes, we want the Versaces.

We want the money.

We are educating ourselves for money.

Topi drama (literal translation: ‘drama of the hats’, in Urdu) for big bucks

The degrees we are working so hard for; fighting tooth and nail for a Bachelors, or a Masters, or even an IGCSE certificate: what were we told before we were enrolled in the top colleges and educational institutions of the country?

It’s for the betterment of your own life.

Define a better life.

A bigger car. A larger house. A heartier, heavier, richer meal. Branded clothes.

That’s all?

That is all.

Do you want Mr Burns to be your inspiration?

Education is the largest asset you possess right now. When you talk about Pakistan in particular, if you are a Pakistani and you are currently enrolled in a university, you are very lucky.

Not top 50 percent lucky. Not even top 40 or 30 percent.

You lie in the top 10.8 percent.

That’s right: 10.8 percent of people in Pakistan are enrolled in tertiary education (10.7 percent females, 10.1 percent males).

What are you, as part of that top 10.8 percent, planning to do with your degree? Will you leave the country to earn bigger cash abroad? To spend on more perfumes and chocolate bars? Stay and work for a KFC franchise, maybe? Fast food restaurants’ managers earn pretty hefty amounts, if you are interested.

They work a lot harder for something you got with a lot more ease.

Whatever your goals in life, try not to restrain yourself to receiving larger cheque payments. Don’t do it for the fame and popularity either. You are human, you are powerful. You have an imagination, you have a mind, and you have complete control over both. Bogging yourself down by comparing your wages or your car with people around you will not get you anywhere. It will certainly not get you where you can truly say you are happy.

Choose your aims wisely. Because whatever you set your mind to is what you will achieve. Make sure it is something that actually meets your purpose and pleases you.