Today I had an exceptionally mixed day. On a positive note, I had the most amazing gesture of support and appreciation from the company for the work that I have done over the last 7 years. Some of the details I will share with you once it is public, but suffice to say, that I was so surprised and moved that I was speechless. To keep it short, it was an amazing day at work.
When I got home I of course called my dad to share the news, and we somehow got to talking about the tense situation in Lebanon and I was complaining that the Lebanese will forever follow the same people who led us in the civil war. Einstein’s definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again, but to expect different results. So what else can I say? During our conversation, my dad’s wife was saying in the background: But do you want to change the world?
The only thought coming to my head is: why-ever the f*ck not?? Why is it that to be Lebanese is to be a defeatist? Why is it that we have to accept the status quo as the fait-accompli of a corrupt medieval feudal system? I will never accept, that my role in life is to simply follow in the same ugly path. This will not be.
I have lived almost 10 years outside of Lebanon, and I have worked hard to build a life away from the trauma of a childhood spent in the middle of a raging civil war. I do not understand how people have forgotten the pain and the horrors of war. Do they not remember the terrifying sound of a bomb crossing over? Have they forgotten that when a bomb falls near, it feels as if your insides are getting crushed? Yes it is painful to remember, but it is deadly to forget.
There is a reason why I mention both these events from today. In my time outside of Lebanon I have somehow been able to draw a clean breathe that has done as much to free me, as to give me the energy to move on and to work and to create, so much more than during my years in Beirut. I have seen this in so many of my friends who have left Lebanon, that they have suddenly become the kind of people they were always meant to be. And it has occurred to me that we are a nation robbed of autonomy and the belief that each individual is able to affect change in his or her larger condition. Of course there are exceptions, but the result is still a mess that no one knows how to clean up.
So what is to be done, I do not know. But I do know this: Until we as a nation can dare to believe that each and every one of us is able to build, to create, and to innovate, for both one and country, we are doomed to forever sink in the debris of war. Change does not come from the outside. It comes from within. Until each man and woman (yes, we are also part of this country) finds the energy inside, it will be our fate to stay in the dark.