Monday 19th of April 2021 Sahafi.jo | Ammanxchange.com
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    07-Mar-2021

A double curse - By Ahmad Y. Majdoubeh, The Jordan Times

 

 

Many in our society blame all our problems on the government or the state. And this is to some or a great extent correct. It is generally governments that make things happen, or not happen.
 
In this sense, we have the right to blame them.
 
But this is partly, and not totally, true.
 
The people also play a key role.
 
The government, our government, has so many problems which cripple its performance: lack of vision, inadequacy to transform vision into action, mediocrity, inefficiency, nepotism, lack of resources, etc.
 
But the problem is also with the people.
 
Progress happens when the government and the people are in synergy.
 
We know what the problems with the government are, but what about the problems with the people?
 
They are also equally crippling.
 
The people have so many problems, and they are generally more of a liability than a plus.
 
First of all, they are, due to lack of effective upbringing and education, undisciplined and uncommitted.
 
This lack of discipline, this disorder is the root-cause of so many of our problems.
 
Discipline is essential to civility and progress.
 
The best example is in dealing with the current COVID-19 pandemic.
 
The countries that have been able to deal with COVID-19 best are the countries whose people have been law-abiding, rule-observant, and regulation-conscious.
 
In these countries, the infections are low, and the mortalities are statistically insignificant relative to the population.
 
Where do our people stand in relation to all of this?
 
On the other extreme: they are law-lax, rule-unobservant, and regulation-unconscious.
 
As a result, the COVID-19 infections and deaths in our society are among the highest in the world relative to the population.
 
What about other spheres and contexts?
 
They are equally bad.
 
Motoring is a horror. So much traffic chaos, so many violations and so many casualties.
 
What about work ethics?
 
They are equally bad also.
 
For most people, especially in the public sector, a job is just a job. Nay, most of the time, they think a job is a milking cow.
 
What about the environment and the public space?
 
They are to be disrespected and abused. Generally, people care about the insides of their homes. One centimetre outside their own private space is none of their business.
 
This has not been always the case.
 
For up until the 1980s, people used to care a lot about the neighbourhood space. Many people, in fact, considered the neigbourhood an extension of their own private space, and they used to make it a point to clean it. This was before the municipalities hired employees to clean the neighbourhoods after the people.
 
It is then that people stopped caring about public spaces. After all, someone will clean after them.
 
The main problem with the people is their passivity and reliance on government. In decades past, they used to take the initiative to do things on their own. They used to collect money to build schools, they used to chip in funds to establish cooperative societies that provide them with so many vital services, and so on and so forth.
 
In recent decades, when they became reliant on governments, they started to become totally passive, and even negative.
 
Our main problem, then, is double: a government that is unable to bring about the leap we all desire, and a people utterly reliant on such a government.
 
A double curse!
 
 

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