Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Death of March 14th

1.5 Million people carried the same flag. 1.5 Million marched hand in hand. It was an unprecedented show of unity, a strong foundation to build a country on.

What went wrong? How did we blow this opportunity?

Here are some observations to take into consideration the next time an opportunity presents itself.

1. Leave politics out of it. When we took to the streets we weren't thinking about cabinet quotas or parliament seats. It wasn't about Leftist or Rightist economics. It was about independence, it was about freedom, and it was about building a Nation. That's what the people asked for and that's what the politicians are supposed to deliver. Keep it in mind next time.

2. Forget Revenge. He who angers you becomes your master.-Epictetus. All of the official action throughout the last year was out of anger. The obsession with revenge made us incapable of moving forward with what we need and what is good for us. We couldn't hold out enough on our urges to become masters of our domain.

3. Leadership and Nepotism don't mix. Leaderships skills are not passed on in wills. Political savvy is not acquired overnight. We can respect a man's legacy in ways other than pledging allegiance to his son. We need decisiveness and control to bake a cake. Building a country is a lot more complex.

4. Do not try to Cancel others. We are diverse. Different backgrounds, different traditions. That is our strength. When I go from Ras Beirut to Dhahieh to Ashrafieh, it's like visiting 3 different countries within a 2 mile radius. This is a good thing. This is Lebanon.

5. Avoid Greed. Election season came and the nation building turned into a math problem. Bad election law, number-based alliances, and limitless greed was a huge spit in the face of those who were holding hands on March 14th.

6. Set Priorities right. You may refer to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs for that. When I'm hungry I don't think straight, I'm sure most people like to eat too. Not being blown up is also kind of important. Having cool friends and looking pretty are not on our minds right now.

7. Don't make promises you can't keep. Not to your mom. Not the neighborhood bully. Certainly, not to both at the same time. Gino might come and bail you out, but then you become his bitch and if you say anything he'll break your legs.

8. Fix Mistakes. Humans make mistakes, tons of them. Some make more mistake than others, but there's no shame in that. So be Human and admit your mistakes. Everything is fixable, well some things cannot be fixed but they are replaceable.


Ms Levantine said...

Nice one Jamal. Maybe reason #9 is that leopards do not change their spots. All our leaders have been the same for the last 30 years, they never delivered in the past, they will not deliver the future. We need new ideas at the bottom to make their way to the top.

euroarabe said...

loved it

Ramzi said...

Maybe problem #10 is that not all Lebanese were in March 14.
Whatever their political/religious beliefs, they made a stand by not being there. They were away that day and continue to be so today.

Lazarus said...

jamal - good list. steps like this, which self-criticize, are good steps.

Delirious said...

Maybe it wasn't really born for it to be dead...

euroarabe said...

delirious ! lets keep hope alive even when all we have is one day where people marched together or even nothing st all.
i like jamal's jokes but more than that im impressed by how he is not entirely jaded and cynical beyond hope. he is an optimist through it all. we need that. ideas are so powerful. complete pessimism is so awful and trendy. its the lebanese disease.

Jamal said...

March 14th and March 8th for that matter were positive days,flawed but positive. Peaceful political competition is good(unless i'm in power of course).
The problem is the sectarian nature that competition takes in our Country.

bashir said...

great points. correct to the last one.