Essay No. 153:
Traveler, There Are No Paths, Paths Are Made By Walking: The quotation under reference enjoins upon a traveler to carve out new paths and avoid the beaten ones, for opening fresh avenues in different realms of life. A traveler must be fired with the spirit of travel, as life is a long travel which loves journey more than goal. Jigar Muradabadi, a famous Urdu poet comes out with this idea in the following verse:
خبر شوقِ سفر کچھ اور مجھے منظور نہیں
اے عشگ بتا اب کیا ہو گا کہتے ہیں منزل دور نہیں
[I don’t desire anything except travel and fondness O love! You tell what would become, as the destination is not far-off]
Life loves travel because it is not constant. Man is like a traveler who has to traverse a long journey in life. If he sticks to existing conventions, traditions, he cannot thrash new grounds in life. The world has progressed because of scientists, engineers, technologists who refused to follow the beaten path.
They made new paths for themselves in different fields by coming up with new innovative ideas. They gave their heart’s blood by following new path which bristled with innumerable difficulties. One has to make a distinct path for oneself in life as history does not remember the commoners but only the exceptions. Only those enter the fold of history who have done something exceptional in life.
This means that a traveler should chart out a path of his own to provide guidance to others. Columbus, despite the most inhospitable circumstances of sea life, continued his journey till he discovered America. Likewise the mountaineers make a history when they succeed and get their names enshrined in history.
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Ordinary human beings follow the beaten path. Those who repeat old things have nothing to their credit. Only for the innovative are remembered by the coming generations. Hence one should carve out new paths in life to give something new to the future generations. One should be guided to explore new horizon in life. The following verse of Iqbal illustrates this idea:
ستاروں سے آگے جہاں اور بھی ہیں ابھی عشق کے امتحاں اور بھی ہیں
[There are many more worlds beyond stars, Life is yet to pass through many more tests]
The secret of progress lies in discovering new worlds, new paths. The nations that act on this principle rule in the world, while the one’s lost in the labyrinths of the past, are ruled over by the dynamic, the vital.