Monday, October 21, 2019

Everyone in Lebanon is clever, but is anyone wise?

Artwork by Tarek Chemaly
"Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today, I am wise, so I am changing myself" so said Jalaledine Runi. Wise words - sorry for the pun. Here's my question - the more I talk to people about the manifestations - the more I hear the oddest theories. Someone said they wanted free hospitals, but did not want to pay taxes to get them.
Why? "el hadr" (waste/corruption) was the answer. There is always this idea that someone else is to pay for this. No one is to touch what is their current income, or source of money. The recent spike in government and public employee salaries was a harakiri - but it came right bang prior to the elections. Super! Higher salaries!
Yay! But - ahem - where do we pay for them? "El amlek el bahriyye" (the coastal properties) was the answer. These properties by the sea that people frequent and which are points of contention and which should be taxed or what not. But again, I see no logic in the answer. Just words about this or the other. I do not blame people with regards to not trusting the governmental entities, but no one wants to start any change with their artifcial high standard of living.
It seems I am blaming the small guy here. I am not. Even among the top brass, right now there is nothing being done but finger pointing to one another. Naturally, it is everyone that got us to where we are, and their recklnessness and their lack of care. But - as I said earlier - who elected them, not once, not twice but several times.
"We cheated on me once, shame on him. He cheated on me twice, shame on me". Clever as the Lebanese are, they do not feel any shame it seems though.
Eveyone in Lebanon is clever, is anyone wise to start change with his/her own self?