Published: Saturday, April 6, 2013

Follow the system

FOR some reason most people in Bangladesh cannot see the advantages of following rules, regulations and systems. Most people do not even realise that the rules, regulations and systems are there to benefit them. The definition of system is: “a set of detailed methods, procedures and routines created to carry out a specific activity, perform a duty, or solve a problem” ( So, according to this definition, a system is supposed to solve a problem or to perform some activities, and if we do not follow the system the problem will keep recurring. Systems increase efficiency, efficiency creates productivity and productivity creates profitability and prosperity for individual and nation.

In the beginning, we are hesitant and reluctant to follow rules, regulations, and systems. We think that will cost us extra time, effort and hassle. We think shortcuts will save us time but we do not realise that this creates bad habits and sets bad examples for future generations. For example, if we do not follow the traffic system it creates traffic jam, to clear which we have to spend effort, money, and time. In the process, we waste fuel and valuable time. Most bus drivers have a tendency to stop randomly, park vehicles anywhere and everywhere, collect passengers wherever they please, drive rashly, and not follow traffic signals.

Recent studies tell us that more than $ 2 billion are lost every year based on the loss of time of people in traffic jams in Dhaka alone. Another research suggests that congestion is responsible for the loss of two million working hours every day, when only two million people commute every day and if the loss is only half an hour each trip. Needless to say, this loss is staggering in the context of a developing country like Bangladesh.

When we follow the system we can avoid jams, and we can save effort, gas, foreign currency by saving petrol, and valuable time. Saving money and time can help us improve our buying power and overall lifestyle. We should encourage each other to follow the traffic system, such as using overbridge for crossing roads, using the footpath, following the queue, and not throwing garbage everywhere. We should leave a cleaner environment and better world for our future generation so they can do the same for the up-coming generation.

We need to start as soon as possible so it can carry on from generation to generation. Right steps will motivate the next generation to do the same. If they do not see any examples to follow, they will get demoralised. They will blame us for not doing the right thing, and for not showing them the right path. It is our moral duty to set examples for our young generation. Bangladesh has enough potential to compete with China, India, and Malaysia but we have to know how to use that potential otherwise opportunity is not going to stick around for us forever, it will be taken by some other country.

Discipline, patience and good habits can help us follow rules, regulations, and systems. We have to utilise our full potential to become a well known nation. We all are working hard to improve the quality of our lives and systems are meant to help us do that. It has to be a collective effort; we are not going to see the benefit at all if we practice this individually. If one or two individuals follow the system but rests of us do not then the few individuals will be discouraged and at one point everyone will give up trying to follow the system. The growth rate of countries such as India, Singapore, Malaysia is higher than ours because they adopted systems even though it was not easy for them at the beginning, and now they can see the benefit because their standard of living is better than ours. If they can do it we can do it too.

As a nation we have come a long way, and we have a long way to go. Our great nation has plenty of potential, so the sky is the limit for us. This is a crucial time for Bangladesh. We need to take advantage of opportunities because they may not knock on our door again. So we should take small steps collectively, and it will make a big difference for the nation. So there is no alternative to following rules, regulations and systems to prosper in life.

The writer is Assistant Professor at ULAB.