If you’re like me, you would have always looked at pictures of the Western world and admired the greenery and the cheerful positive faces of their people. I always wondered what is the difference? Why are our societies always frowning, always tired, always thinking, always fighting? Why don’t we admire our own beautiful natural sceneries with smiles? Is it because we live in an area which has been through a lot of crucial changes in the past decades? Wars? Deaths? Torture? Punishment? Captivity?
This may be it. It is maybe because we cannot fight together, form one united front and once and for all eradicate differences and unlawful actions. Those frowns may be caused by a forceful eviction from your own country, or the inability to find a job and feed your family. An angry heart could be from the lack of support you feel from your government and your fellow citizens. A constant miserable face could be a product of losing someone dear to you in a tragic unfair situation, or being pulled away from your loved ones and your land and put in a small cell.
The above reasons may be true, and possibly are. They could be justifications to why there is a huge difference between my people’s pictures and the Western world’s society. But I have found another most definite reason for this difference: how they treat each other and their country.
Don’t tell me because my country doesn’t treat me right, I won’t treat it right either. It always takes two to tango. And from what I have seen while studying in the UK for a year now, the main difference is us.
I was sitting on the bench the other day waiting for the bus to arrive, when a 60-year old construction worker, holding a sandwich and a juice box, it was his lunch break, who was barely able to walk, came and sat on another bench. As he sat down, he spotted a paper wrap on the side of the road, he stood up, bent down and walked to the end of the road to put in the garbage bin. After that, he came back and started eating his sandwich.
Maybe a small meaningless act for you, but it gave me an enlightenment to why we are developing countries, and why their countries are developed. There is no difference, whether it’s a construction worker, a business man or a pupil, they all do the SAME things. They all ride the bus, they all help in cleaning their communities, not like us when we litter and throw things out of the car. They help EACH OTHER and smile. The Prime Minister rides the subways with the same man who cleans his office. The bus driver goes home in the same bus as the CEO of a multi-millionnaire company.
There is no pulling strings, everyone stands in line, and guess what, when you actually stand in line your turn comes in less than 2 minutes. They have ethics in communication and take it as an offence if the words thank you or please are not said. They are all servants of their country, efficient ones, and that is why they are getting all the success and we are falling apart.
I am not saying we are a rude society with no ethics or respect. Of course not, I love my country and I love the people I live with. I just hope we can live together in the comfort they live in, where we erase the concept of mocking the construction workers and the old men who clean the streets, and understand that there is NOTHING wrong with working as a secretary or a waiter/waitress. I hope we start having respect for one another, especially when a girl whether wearing the hijab, a dress or jeans, and is walking down the street, is not judged and put under the risk of rape, abduction or physical/verbal assault. I hope if we see a little boy being abused by his parents, that we could then call a local authority constructed for these issues, one we could trust the boy would be in good professional hands.
And, I really really wish the concept of WASTA would be demolished from the roots of our community so people would be able allowed to have jobs and opportunities based on their qualifications and hard work.
By accomplishing all of these, we have reformed ourselves, without the need of protests, an Arab Spring or the help of any armed weapons and death tolls. From Kings to the new born babies-we can engrave these principles from childhood into their minds-we have reformed our country.
It really does start within us.