Individual by Individual

THE work of nation-building is similar to planting an orchard. The growth and development of a nation is a lengthy affair, and there has to be a tremendous input at both the individual and national levels before it finally bursts into blossom and finds the position of honour and glory in the world.

If it takes a mighty tree one hundred years to reach its full stature, whoever wishes to possess such a tree has no option but to tend to it for that period. If instead of nurturing it with care and skill, people called for an ‘orchard meeting’, or people come out on to the streets and launch a strike campaign in the name of trees, or gather in some open place or march through the streets shouting slogans, they will never possess a single tree, less own an orchard.

The work of planting an orchard begins by obtaining seedlings and providing every single one with such favourable conditions as will enable it to develop its potential and grow into a fully developed tree. When one has done this with innumerable seedlings, one can then expect to have an orchard.

Build the individual and you build the nation. If hidden potential is to be developed, it takes education, encouragement and the provision of a proper environment at an individual level very early on in the whole process, just as a sapling must be put into well prepared ground and given the right type and quantity of nutrients, water, sunlight etc. If people are properly instructed, while they are still young and receptive and by people who adopt a caring, positive attitude, they develop a healthy awareness of what their commitments to society should be and what it means to be part of a nation.

Although we must accept the fact that this is a highly competitive world, there is nothing to prevent us from endeavouring to cooperate with and encourage cooperation from others. If we stand shoulder to shoulder with our fellow men in the face of the most challenging situations, there is no obstacle that we cannot overcome, no peril that we cannot face.

Thus, it is the individual temperament which plays the most crucial role in the making of a nation. It is important in nation-building in the way the bricks are important in any kind of construction.