Choose your battles wisely; ensure they don’t lead to a Pyrrhic victory

A Pyrrhic victory, named after King Pyrrhus of Epirus, signifies a triumph that extracts a heavy toll, rendering the pursuit not entirely worthwhile. In the quest for success, most of us prefer winning rather than losing. This thought resonated with me upon learning about the tragic demise of a CSS Officer from a humble background. Despite his diligent efforts to pass the CSS examination, he battled severe depression throughout the journey, ultimately succumbing to it. Hailing from an average family, educated in government schools and universities, he achieved success in CSS but paid the price with his mental health and, tragically, his life.

The story doesn’t commence at its tragic end but likely during the rigorous process. Examinations like CSS, MDCAT, Engineering, CA, USMLE, FCPS, and many others demand stringent criteria, subjecting aspirants to immense hardships. Before burning bridges to attain a goal, it’s essential to ask a simple question: Is it worth it? Do you truly desire it that much? If the answer is a resounding yes, then pursue it, but ensure it doesn’t culminate in a Pyrrhic victory.

During my MBBS, a junior approached me, seeking advice on which books to study for good grades. I responded, “Choose the ones your stomach can digest.” The reality is, one should opt for a profession that aligns with their capabilities. Nothing surpasses mental health, yet there’s a high prevalence of depression among doctors in Pakistan—imagine the poignant irony, the healers of the nation grappling with serious psychological disorders. Sadly, our society is often unkind to such individuals, perpetuating bullying and labeling them as mentally ill or psychotic.

In this era of technology and modernism, social media exerts a profound influence, driving us to compete relentlessly. As we elevate our living standards, we unwittingly sacrifice our mental health. Many, after achieving their goals, fall into the grips of suicide, mental illness, or perpetual depression. We must recognize and appreciate the blessings bestowed by Allah SWT, finding contentment within our domains. In the grand scheme of things, the truth of this world is nothing but a beautiful dream.

Now is the time to awaken and shape the future of our children and nation. Meaningful reforms are imperative to address the prevailing chaos. I consistently emphasize the importance of mental health across various platforms, including radio, television, and my social media accounts. However, this crucial mission requires your support.

Our society must unite to tackle this issue earnestly. You may encounter students, colleagues, or relatives grappling with mental illness. For the sake of Allah, extend kindness to them—offer counseling, lend a listening ear, and provide assistance.

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