When I say that I love my country, I only want to make sure that you understand that I am only including the natural sceneries, the mild weather, the friends that make it bearable to live in and THATS IT. That aside, I do not appreciate what Lebanon is turning into, going from being the Paris of the Middle East to a state lived by a back warded mentality of selfish goons.
What makes a country is its citizens. Lebanese citizens are ambiguous & ridiculous at best. They long for a certain lifestyle yet implement another traditional mindset in their everyday action. The following are a few of the type of Lebanese that I have encountered within my surrounding that either make or break Lebanon. Honestly they mostly break it, but thats for you to judge.
1- The 5% billionaires.
I know what you are going to say. Those are the people that have built businesses and own multinational enterprises, hiring as much as 50+ employees and hence providing indirectly to many families. Yet those are the people that would care less about what is affecting civil society in general. Its another thing if it were to hit their wellbeing or bank accounts. How many of you have encountered young adults from these families who only cared for their latest purchases, whether its the latest car or bag, rather than society’s uproar against governmental corruption or the garbage crisis? Those are the people that live by the slogan of “joie de vivre” whenever there is an explosion and innocent lives are shattered or protests and roads are closed, leaving them clustered at home. Their motto is to continue with their night outs trying to convince everyone that no one should let factors out of their reach affect their lives. Their motto is to “be strong and show them perpetrators that they will not let anything affect my social life”. Offsprings from such families are a disgrace for the future of the country as they portray a shallow image of the population at large.
2- The “bullshitters”
The funny part is that those are the ones that constantly nag about the corrupt aspect of the government, the raising prices of just anything (food, clothing, outing), the implementation of a traffic law with exorbitant fines and the garbage infested streets since the unresolved garbage crisis. However those are the ones that will continue voting for the same leaders if they had the chance (see the parliament has adopted anew trend of re-electing itself any chance given), will continue getting loans for unnecessary purchases, will almost break the traffic law on a daily basis by double parking or not wearing a seatbelt and disregard the recycling campaigns because they cannot be bothered sorting out their trash in different compartments.
3- The “victims”
Those are the citizens that are stuck with this system. They are; owners of small shops, governmental employees, fresh graduates stuck with passionless jobs. Whichever their status in the workforce, they all share a similar point; they can not wake up one day and just call it quits. They are stuck with their position or businesses because they do do not have a better opportunity elsewhere in the market, better yet abroad. They are victims because, contrary to the sharks managing their state of affairs, they cannot come down to “playing it dirty” to get their way. Three words; they have morals. Trust me when I say that those are the ones that go through shit loads of pain and challenges just so that they can survive daily in this country. Apart from their upbeat morale, you will come to notice that this category of people is the nicest and genuine of them all, selfless and generous despite their limited means.
To be honest with you there are many people who make or break a country. Concerning my city, I have come up with the above mentioned general types without being too specific, leaving you, my readers, to brainstorm and remember people from your own encounters. Within each category, I am sure a face (if not several) popped instantly. I don’t know about you, but living among people who careless about society in general (vs their own pockets) and others who have become way too deeply nonchalant about the future of their current hometowns, made me after years of my return to Lebanon three steps further into returning to my civilized adoptive country. Am I less patriotic? yes I am. I have come to terms with judgmental opinions and cliche snaps about Lebanon. Few are those who are fighting for the well being of their country. Fewer are following them every passing months. As long as the citizens established in this city do not make a simple effort (let’s take an obvious example here) of ‘abiding by a traffic law’ without hiding behind the matter of fact statement ‘there are still bribes going on so why give the government pleasure of filling its pockets’, major changes will not settle into their mindset.
Not now. Not ever.
Maybe their grandchildren’s three generation down the road will…
But again I doubt….
Happy ‘In’dependence Day everyone!