Pakistan is one of the lowest tax-paying countries in the world. And it makes sense because our country also happens to be one of the countries with the highest rate of corruption. People are not willing to pay taxes because they know they won’t be getting anything in return. They know all their money will go into the pockets of a few corrupt politicians. This is why we try to find ways to get around the system by bribing government officials or pulling other strings. We never think of the advantages of the tax system because we don’t see any around us.
However, there is always something that can be done. If we don’t want to pay taxes because we are afraid the money will go into the wrong hands, we can find other ways to help the people around us. People just need to be sure the money they are giving is being used for a good cause. What we can do is we can start from our own neighborhoods and make committees consisting of ourselves and our neighbors which collect a certain minimum amount from every household and then help support the poor in the community. I am going to start something like this in Toronto. I will ask all my friends to give a minimum of $10 a month and I am sure I can get at least 30 people to do this. Obviously, the more people we will have, the better it will be. Sitting in Toronto there is little I can do but I want to do as much can be done. It may sound little but when the money people give will be combined together, it will result in a decent amount inshAllah. After all ‘qatra qatra mil k darya banta hai’.
Once I had this interesting conversation with a guy working at the Scientology shop. He tried convincing me to buy a book written on Scientology. (I don’t remember his name so lets call him Mr X)
Mr X: how bad would you feel if you lose 20 bucks tonight and how long would you think about it?
Me: not too bad, I will probably get over it in a day
Mr X: See, $20 is not something which will affect you so much so why don’t you buy our book. It’s just $20; you can tell yourself you dropped that money somewhere.
After he said that I said ‘No, thank you’ and walked off. The guy knew what he was selling was not worth 20 bucks at all. He just tried convincing me losing 20 bucks wasn’t too bad. I don’t want you to feel bad at all while giving the money. In fact I want you to think for every dollar you will give, to think that every dollar you give will bring a smile on someone’s face, it will help someone gain education, it will prevent someone dying of hunger, it will help someone sick, who cannot afford treatment, get treated. I want you to feel good! In case you can’t give anything, I still want you to give. I want you to give ideas for what we can do to raise money, for what we can do with this money, for how we can make a change. I want all of you to give whatever each of you can in your own capacity. Money is not everything, effort is. I want you all to make an effort to bring a change in Pakistan. I want you to start with yourself and set an example for others.
People are dying of hunger every day and we are just sitting watching them die. I believe small things can make a big difference sometimes. Because what may be small for us may be something big for another person. 10 dollars to you might be one meal but to a poor family in Pakistan, it can actually buy food for a month! Think about it, it’s totally worth it!
I would end by saying one last thing a friend mentioned a couple of days ago. She said ‘tum yaha(in this world) ager thora sa doge to oopar(from God) se tume dher sara mile ga’. Think about it, what you have has been given to you by God, why not give some of it to the less fortunate.
May Allah bless all of you !