The Three Ailments
By: Elias Bejjani

The Lebanese society, after twenty years of war, and because of the negative influence of occupation, has been hit with major social, psychological and behavioural changes. The most prominent negative ailments are behavioural. They are characteristic of the Lebanese post-war era and could be summarised as:
3-Opportunism, parasitism

Individualism: The extreme individualism made some of our people self-centred in their life-patterns, believing themselves to be a central pivot for the whole world. Individualism made people's affiliation to social cohesion very poor. They started to perceive all individual acts as guaranteed to succeed and all group actions as sure failures. These people feel secure and extremely happy when achieving accomplishments as individuals, but are all the while threatened, tense and scared when functioning in a group.

Materialism: An apparent majority of our people pursues wealth aggressively by focusing efforts and resources on the results, and not the means of achieving wealth. They look down on those who do no take advantage of every opportunity possible, legal or illegal, ethical or not through which wealth can be made, as naive and/or stupid. On the other hand, they portray those who are extremely vicious, mercilessly hunting opportunities like hungry foxes, as intelligent, clever people. For them, extravagantly spending money has become a sign of grandeur and success.

Parasitism and opportunism: These people do not see high ranking public positions such as ministers, Parliament members to municipal and mayoral council memberships, as venues for providing public services. On the contrary they perceive them as a status for bragging, grandeur and posing. They have the same perception to post in parties, non-profit organisations, clubs, syndicates and unions.

These three ailments: are extremely prominent post-war philosophies in the behaviour of a big portion of our Lebanese people, both in occupied Lebanon and in Diaspora. They affected the majority of the Lebanese in their understanding for the government authority. Authority is seen as an enemy and a means of irritation and harassment. The same sickening concept is applied to the law that is looked upon as a means of restriction, impediment, hindrance, and a reminder for the government authority.

These socially epidemic ailments have made the youth lose their righteous focus and truck in life. It made them lose their spontaneity, faith and believe in a state of law and equality. The psychological repertoire of respect and appreciation for dignity, impartiality, decency and pursuing of success through hard work, transparency and devotion has been massed and distorted.

These ailments, are also barriers for ethical and principle codes flourishing in our society. They have killed the spirit of sacrifice, benevolence, commitment, and aborted all planning efforts for a better future.

These ailments that have become post-war destructive philosophies affected negatively the youth and the new generation. It made their attitudes and concepts are characterised by subservience, cajoling, selfishness, opportunism, parasitism, negligence and lassies fair.

What Lebanon needs currently and before anything else is an urgent change in attitudes towards life. The reform needed has to start with attitudes and philosophies and then people can focus on occupation, the virus that is causing all the other ailments.

Long Live Free Lebanon