>You know, there’s something I’m rather tired of. It seems like whenever people suggest that they’d like to see positive change in Jordan, a certain contingent of those commenting (whether virtual or IRL) have the attitude that everything’s fine and you shouldn’t talk about anything that isn’t. It isn’t limited to those blonds of us in society. In happens to those born and bred here as well. And, frankly, it’s begun to annoy me.
Somehow, there seems to be a culture of shut up or go back “home.” And you know what? This IS home. If I didn’t love Jordan and plan to make my home here, I wouldn’t care if things improved. Somehow that seems lost on people. A virtual community that I am part of had a tongue-in-cheek conversation going on about the discovery (frightening might I add) that the Disi aquifer may be radioactive. Those who were commenting with displeasure on this were scolded rather soundly. The premise of this scolding was that a woman raised her kids here and they were just fine, so everything must be fine. Somehow that argument falls flat to me.
I harp on the need for child car seat laws because the footnote to a recent report on a 25% reduction in car accidents (GO JORDAN!) was that 90% of fatalities are still in the under 5 age group. 90%! Ladies and gentleman, that’s NOT okay. And, I know most people still don’t use any restraints for their kids. But, they should. Really. 90% of fatalities are the most vulnerable segment of society least able to speak for themselves. If we don’t speak for them, who will?
How about smoking. I guess if it bothers me that others share their dirty second-hand smoke-filled air with me, I should just go back to America (or to Dubai in fact) where smoking in public is not only illegal, but enforced. I should abandon the 6 year olds I see weekly with packs of cigarettes. I just shouldn’t care. I make my home a smoke-free zone and go to restaurants that have non-smoking sections. That should be enough. But, again should it? If I love Jordan, shouldn’t I want it to improve?
But then I guess by this argument that gets tossed around so glibly, those small-minded (frankly bigoted) Americans who feel like Muslims who want their rights respected should just “go home” if they’re so unhappy are right as well, no? After all, Muslims who have been made citizens of the US have no fewer rights there than I have here. Both of us were naturalized after being raised in a widely varying culture. Both of us find things we’d like to change. But apparently, only one of us should be able to ask for that change. Maybe we all need to take a step back and think. Once before I dropped this quote on my blog:
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” George Bernard Shaw
So, before calling for someone to “go home if you don’t like it here” hear the message they are sending. And recognize that anyone who lives here by choice and desires change does so out of love. I love Jordan, it’s people, and it’s heritage. But I want to see changes for the better. I want to see progress. If I didn’t, I would be either indifferent or uninterested. Those are two things I hope never to be…