Saturday, October 14, 2017

Are we mature enough for change?

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Everybody in Lebanon wants change. All we need is change, change is all we need is the country’s number one hit song. Change to what, no one knows exactly. Just change. No matter what it is, it would surely make everything better.

As if political change was as easy as a change of clothes. These pants don’t fit me anymore, they’re old and dingy, I need to change to something more comfortable and more flattering, hopefully I’ll look better, my life will improve, I’ll meet the partner of my dreams and everyone will live happily ever after. 

Awkwardly enough, the change everybody is wishing for is not something anyone is ready to apply to him or herself. Everything and everyone needs to change expect Me. I’m perfect. God created Me and broke the mold.

If people were like Me, the world would be a mirror image of the Instagram account of a positive thinker slash yoga teacher slash bio-eating healthy-living guru. Compared to a universe made at my own image, fairytales look like The Walking Dead.

Sadly, everyone else is flawed, hence the disastrous state of our mother planet, dear old Gaia. And of poor little Lebanon.

We want politicians to be clean but love our corrupt friends. They have qualities no other corrupt individual has. That’s why they are our friends. When we befriend a corrupt politician, the latter is immediately washed of all sins, as if God Himself erased the chap's filthy slate and turned him into a saint.

The same applies if some of our buddies are dodgy businessmen. They just need to give us an expensive gift or do us a big favor to become holier than Mahatma Gandhi.

Also, if we like a politician, or support him for whatever reason, the man is by definition the reincarnation of Nelson Mandela, Charles de Gaulle and Mother Theresa put together. Even if he’s caught with his hand in the cookie jar, we keep denying it happened and wish that the seven plagues of Egypt descended on whoever caught him.

As for us, it’s ok if we do what we want others to stop doing. If we cheat, we are smart, if others cheat, they are evil. If we lie, we do it for the sake of humanity, if others lie, they are the devil’s minions. If we do the exact same things as our neighbors, we are right and they are wrong.

Because we are de bonne famille and they are nouveau riche. We are elegant and they are vulgar. Unlike theirs, our trash doesn’t smell. When our dog craps on the sidewalk, it’s modern art. And the noise we make is written by Mozart.

We want change like children want ice cream. We stand there and demand. We refuse to make any effort to bring it forth. If we don’t get it, immediately, now, at this very second, we groan and moan and scream and curse and cry.

Sometimes, change comes along. A small isolated change. Instead of welcoming it, we look down on it, we reject it, spit at it, kick it as hard as we can. It’s not enough, we say. We want it all, we want it now and we want it perfect. We act like a starving idiot rejecting food because it’s not five-star gastronomy.

We are Lebanon but want to be Finland by the stroke of a magic wand. We want to be Finnish before we even start – bad pun intended.

Elections will happen soon enough. Change is around the corner. We can feel it, we can almost touch it. We call it out. Come Yee Change and save us from the fires of hell. Save us from corrupt politicians (not our friends and our leader, the other politicians), save the economy (but leave our dodgy business pals alone), save the environment (but don’t look too closely at our exhaust pipe).

Come Yee Change and change everything expect our ways and our lifestyle and our lies and our hypocrisies and our selfishness and, most importantly, don’t touch our private interests. And keep away from our ego. Amen.

© Claude El Khal, 2017