I've been a member of PW, for quite some time now, and have always admired the way the 4x4 enthusiasts on here in particular, have embraced their passion (and displayed it to the world, by means of this terrific site that is known as PakWheels).
What I've also noticed is how we have such a wonderful collection of professionals, businessmen, specialists of their own fields, and a bunch of generally GOOD people, overall. The members of these forums come from a widely diverse background, and encompass almost the entire spectrum of society. Affluent, as well as not-so-affluent. Urban, as well as rural backgrounds. Highly-educated, as well as highly-trained in their own particular skill-set. In short...the works.
We also have a membership of clubs and groups, that is spread across almost the entire country. We have members from the length and breadth of Pakistan...and (personally speaking) I've been fortunate, to encounter new friends on here, from distant places, who I might never have "met", otherwise. We might have nothing in common, save for one thing: a love of the outdoors, and a passion for these wonderful metal beasts we call "ours".
On various trips to some of the most unknown, inhospitable, and ruggedly beautiful areas of the country, one also gets to witness how the members of these clubs interact with one another. The bonding. The cooperation. The coordination. The synchronicity. The humour. The warmth. The friendship and comradeship is clearly visible. As is a sense of "honour" amongst peers.
We're such a diverse bunch of completely-mad, zealously-dedicated, insanely-passionate gear-heads. We spend enormous amounts of money on our machines, JUST to drive them to pieces and lovingly nurture them back to good health. So we can go back, and drive them to pieces, once again!
But...as affluent members of our country (we might not be THE richest individuals out there, but I bet there are untold millions of people who are less fortunate than us)...where's the humanitarian angle to our passion? Are we giving back to society, during our exploits? Are the people around us, benefiting from our skills-set?
This is just a request to all the clubs out there. To incorporate some such angle into their trips and activities, in future. Let our Doctors treat children for free, in medical camps. Let our businessmen adopt a school, or a basic health unit, or an orphanage. If nothing, let us collectively adopt a family...or a child...or a cause. The SOS, for example. Shaukat Khanum. The Edhi Trust. Something. Anything. Let us wear the badge of our HUMANITY, much more proudly than we wear the badge of being Toyota enthusiasts, or Pajero owners, or Jeep riggers.
I'm 45 years old. Pretty much over the hill, I'd say. Personally, I WANT to give back to society, and like all of our community out there, I DO. But individually. We have all the right ingredients (comradeship, mutual respect, passion, affluence) to act as force-multipliers for one another. Let's consistently figure out ways and means to weave a passion for humanity, into our passion for our sport.
This is NOT a sermon. At all. I'm not at all trying to act holier-than-thou, or in any way try to exhibit that I am in any way better than anyone out there. If nothing else...could we please make this a forum where we post the humanitarian activities we undertake in our club trips, and/or individual capacities? We MUST try to outdo one another in the humanitarian aspect. We MUST try to share experiences and efforts and ideas, if and when we're capable of doing so. We spend more money on a "guchcha" for our axles, than it would take, to educate a child for a year in school. THAT, is a sobering thought. One that should possibly spur us to collective activity. Let this not JUST be for when disaster strikes us. Not JUST when earthquakes, or floods, or other calamities befall us. Let it be a part of what we do, EACH and EVERY time we rev up our engines and hit a trail in some obscure, little-known, little-seen area of our beautiful country.
Let's drive responsibly. And madly!