Note: I apologize for the long quote and thank a friend for inspiring the title (I borrowed it from one of his tweets).
We often hear that we tend to take life too seriously, that we are uptight and should relax, chill, take it easy, be more down to earth.
But after yesterday, I do tell you we are definitely taking life lightly; we belittle what it means to ‘live.’ We quote out desire for life in colored slogans instead.
We made life cheap.
It sounds sort of pathetic, vulgar and pathetic even that no amount of words or volumes thereof would give it justice.
That promise of patriotism we convince ourselves we have taken is nothing more than a farce.
Patriotism is neither in this camp nor in that.
Patriotism does, in no way, entail the willingness to fire a bullet at random, or to turn against a friend, or a neighbor, or sell our souls, minds, and bodies to the devil, be it Israel, Iran, Syria, KSA or whatever country, just fill in the blanks there.
Patriotism does not entail founding and operating your own military squad, or appointing yourself the guardian of security and peace, or naming your camp a nation. We are not in an American movie. It does not make you own the right to grant life or give it away, to terrorize and plunder, to exterminate our finest men then belittle their worth. Patriotism does not favor the life of a high status figure over its citizens and it certainly does not leave those hundreds of traumatized homeless and injured children to pause (or is it pose?) for reflection and retrospection, for calculations and political gimmicks.
Patriotism is not a mind game nor does it entail underestimating anyone’s intelligence. No one is stupid anymore.
Patriotism is not a mutated and brainwashed belief in one’s country; it is not the obliteration of thought and the eradication of values.
It is definitely not turning against your own kind, your own species; it is not becoming inhumane.
It is a disgrace what we have come to.
But it is also our fault.
In Arabic there is a saying: كما أنتم يولّى عليكم, which means you are only ruled by the likes of you.
We vote, each year.
We participate in political festivals, meetings and celebrations. We belong to political and religious groups.
We are blindly driven by beliefs, creeds and ideologies.
We follow. We never were leaders of our own selves, minds and sentiments.
Now tell me, objectively, where did we go wrong?
Instead of revolting against a system you have made, revolt against the selves which bore them, revel against who and what you were when you chose to forgo who you really are because you’re too lazy to ‘think’ and be yourself; because it is easier to follow the crowd.
Maybe it is high time we educate ourselves and tame our animalistic temperament and remember a few words Oscar Wilde once said: “Be yourself, all others are taken.”
It is time you revel and expel the clutter of selves infested within you. It is time we ‘become’ Lebanese, to quote my intelligent friend.