Monday, July 7, 2008

Self examination - profound & shallow...

“My country's disease, First person by Hana Hamadeh” takes a look at the problems of Lebanon and the Lebanese, see link below (also reprinted below)

Meanwhile, the Swiss celebrate a survey result, quote “Les Suisses arrivent dans le peloton de tête des rapports sexuels les plus longs” or “Swiss people are in the lead (group) when it comes to the length of sexual relations.

23 minutes 19 secondes, chrono en main
My Country's disease

My country's disease:

Sometimes the simplest of problems are the hardest to solve. One of the problems of my country can be summarized in one ord: "disrespect." We, the people of this nation, should take a minute to re-evaluate ourselves in view of this point.

This tendency of ours to disrespect one another - with no consideration for repercussions or feelings of remorse - is quite baffling. It is a disease that is spreading uncontrollably, approaching the scale of an epidemic. Our television stations have become podiums of blasphemy and ludicrousness, from which one can lash out at anyone, any institution and any country as he or she sees fit without the slightest restraint. Is this freedom of speech or publicized profanity? Lebanese families should now force their children to sleep at 7 p.m., before the daily news, to guarantee that our country's future generations will not be tarnished by the mishaps of our time.

Disrespect for the sanctity of religions is another form of this disease. We assume for ourselves a "right" to tarnish a religion or a sect without thinking twice. Who are we to discredit a religion? Who are we to belittle a group of people? Does each and every one of us Lebanese take him - or herself to be a god entitled to pass judgment on others? In a world where countries are uniting to form unions, we still lose ourselves in petty arguments that lead to bloodshed. Our diversity has become Lebanon's very own Achilles' heel - soldiers, tanks and guns adorn the heterogeneous areas of the country, creating a human shield that separates neighbor form neighbor, Lebanese from Lebanese.

However, the vilest form of this disease is the disrespect for human life. Our martyrs have become numbers that are simply jotted in ledgers. These numbers are erased by the hands of our leaders every time they decide to convene to solve the problems of our country. Maybe the blood of our youth is never an item on their agenda.

In some ways those who escape the bullets of their brethren experience an even worse fate: rampant unemployment, accelerating inflation, low salaries are all daily hardships brought about by the miscalculations of our policy-makers. Every four years the same drama unfolds as hundreds run for parliamentary seats in elections, creating strategies and plans, offering promises and guarantees about aiding the Lebanese people; then, when the ballots have been cast and counted, this hope dies. Our votes and voices become a means to an end. Disrespected, used and violated, we remain in the dark for another four years.

We Lebanese, be it politicians who view people as usable pawns and not as humans who need - and deserve - to be valued and respected, or the masses who now have learned to accept and to tolerate prejudice, bribery, and chaos, are in desperate need of a thorough rehabilitation of our mentalities.

This rehabilitation process will take time, so those of us who become aware of these ailments should be keen to start now by not passing them on to our children. However, short-term gains can be achieved by small and simple changes of attitude in daily life: respect for the red light while driving, respect for the "no-parking sign" on the street, respect for our colleagues at work, and respect for our elderly - some of whom are left on the streets. When we can do these things right, we might also begin to respect all religions and sects, and therefore ourselves, our institutions, and the inestimable value of differences in opinion. These are the things that will cause us to respect all of our compatriots, and make us capable of genuinely respecting that which we claim to love.

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