JUST A SENSE OF HUMOR? WHY?
July 14, 2017
As reported by the media, Pope Francis has recently posted a No whining sign on the door of his residence. Apparently, the sign was a gift from a psychologist. Written in Italian, it was meant to be a lesson for life: "Violators are subject to a syndrome of always feeling like a victim and the consequent reduction of your sense of humor and capacity to solve problems." The sign also explained that "the penalty is doubled if the violation takes place in the presence of children."
What's the moral of the story? "To get the best out of yourself, concentrate on your potential and not on your limitations. Stop complaining and take steps to improve your life." As pointed out by the Pope himself on a previous occasion, he likes people who do not complain all the time: "A sense of humor is a gift I ask for every day."
The whole thing looks nice, but I doubt it is really appropriate to talk just about A SENSE OF HUMOR. In my opinion, we should take that warning more seriously. Much more seriously.
Actually, the words of wisdom in the sign appear to be an excellent lesson for so many countries in which a different way of life would give an enormous boost to their economy, health sector, education and development. In a word, it would completely change their living standards—at last. Perhaps more importantly, those countries would stop being part of an underdeveloped world, and their citizens would finally understand that there is no point in blaming adverse conditions and malignant third parties. Given the fact that every nation must have the right to choose its fate, I think it is high time that a good number of people decide if they prefer to change their society or wait for something to happen (something that probably will never happen). No one will ever be able to solve their problems—and it is high time that so many politicians, preachers and utopians in the West stop expecting/claiming that their countries can solve all the problems of mankind.
While talking of this issue, I usually like to make a comparison between the Palestinians (who are still sitting along the borders of the country they have been claiming as their national homeland for nearly seventy years) and the people of Silesia or East Prussia or Istria or Dalmatia or the Sudetenland at the end of World War II. Similarly, there is a huge difference between some countries (especially in Africa) and so many states that came out of a medieval system in spite of the plague of colonization (from Europe to America to Asia, perhaps with the notable exception of Venezuela, whose people, however, are actively fighting for a change).
Incidentally, it should also be noted that the entire African continent is fortunately free from the horrors of colonization, after centuries of pain and suffering. So, why the hell do so many Africans strive to reach the lands of the colonizers of the past?
Fortunately, there are still political leaders who have the guts to tell the plain truth and are not simply guided by the fear of losing votes in countries where everything must be politically correct. An excellent example has just been given by President Emmanuel Macron, who dared to say that there is no reason to spend "billions of euros" without "a more rigorous governance, a fight against corruption, a fight for good governance, a successful demographic transition". What to do in regions which "have seven or eight children per woman"? Money alone can "stabilize nothing". Instead, it is far better to follow a different approach: "the transformation plan that we have to conduct together must be developed according to African interests by and with African leaders."
Well done, Monsieur le Président! I would just like to mention a couple of further issues, which traditionally tend to make backward countries even more underdeveloped: working practices and armed militias.
Just to give a rough idea, we can focus on Zimbabwe, which used to be the breadbasket of Africa. Of course, I am glad it is an independent country with an apartheid-free society, but I would not blame the richest countries for its miserable conditions and the gangs of criminals, who have systematically destroyed their homeland under the leadership of a (democratically elected) unfit president—and to make it clear that my words have nothing to do with race discrimination, let me say something similar about Venezuela: I would not blame the richest countries for its miserable conditions and the gangs of criminals, who have systematically destroyed their homeland under the leadership of a (democratically elected) unfit president, who was not happy enough with the failure of the communist doctrine all over the world (as shown, e.g., by the collapse of former Soviet Union and the earthly paradise in North Korea).
Next, as I said, there's the problem caused by armed militias. Just think what would happen in France or the United Kingdom or the United States if their political parties had paramilitary organizations (by the way, the United Kingdom was not immune to this phenomenon, when the IRA was active in Northern Ireland, but there was a reaction, thanks goodness). So, it is not surprising that countries like Afghanistan or Iraq or Lebanon or Nigeria are engaged in a perpetual state of war—and, again, I would not blame the richest countries for the crimes committed by the Taliban or the Mahdi Army and its heirs or the Kataeb Regulatory Forces or Hezbollah or Boko Haram.
Therefore, as suggested by President Macron, let's start with a change (yes, we can!) before wasting billions of dollars in useless projects!
Even though the book was published several years ago, in Jihad Al-Kuffar there are some remarks that are quite similar to President Macron's comments. For instance, in Chapter 11, a radical militant is making fun of the political approach of so many naive Western leaders, who get excited whenever they can launch a new do-good campaign in favor of Third-World countries. Here are his words:
If aid programs are not based on a two-way commitment, they cannot be sustained for long, especially in regions with high birthrates. Can you imagine what would happen if the West accepted taking care of one billion poor people for one year? Twelve months later, it should face a similar problem, with more indigents to help, say thirty million, and so on. After some fifteen years, rich countries, which in the meantime are likely to be less wealthy, should assist one and a half billion persons instead of one billion.
Content: Indeed, after the invasion of Iraq, the United States (or, better, its friend Nuri al-Maliki) should have got rid of Muqtada al-Sadr's militias. In addition, they should have taken care of Saddam Hussein's Sunni army, either trying to recruit reliable soldiers and officers, as part of a reconciliation process, or making an effort to keep them under strict control. As everybody knows, those soldiers and those officers eventually became the backbone of the self-proclaimed Islamic State in Iraq.
Remark by Jack S. M., NE on 07/17/2017 at 09:32:28 AM
Subject: Armed militias