With many bitter moments from 2012 still lingering in our minds, it is time for sober reflection and realistic objectives to guide us in making resolutions for the New Year. While we want ‘realistic’ targets for 2013, it is hard not to feel that we are stumbling out of the starting gate.
For many of us, while we still love our country, it simply doesn’t seem to make sense any more. Since 2006 there has been a steady erosion in the belief that things can or will get better. When people believe that the quality of life in the place they live will only get worse — that their country will not offer them the opportunity to fulfill their goals any time soon — they inevitably leave in search of greener pastures.
It will not be easy, but what we really need to see in 2013 is some form of progress in Lebanon. It would be folly to demand the entirety of our politics and society to be reordered in the next 12 months, but give us something. Electricity all day long, water in our tanks throughout the year, Internet we can stream whole videos over, streams, beaches and nature areas unlittered with garbage — just give us something in Lebanon we can point to and say “this is better today than it was yesterday.”
Even if it is a long-term plan — such as a railway along the coast to alleviate rush-hour traffic, or a blueprint to remove the mountains of garbage blowing stench throughout our streets and into our living rooms — as long as there is implementation of a sensible, rational and achievable plan, then we have something to look forward to.
One good thing about the state of this country is there is no lack of opportunity for our policy makers to improve the situation — just do something. Perhaps there might even be politicians that step forward in the elections this year that offer us a choice of policy platforms, rather than the option of choosing our representatives based on their allegiance to Saudi Arabia, Iran or otherwise.
To extend the trends of 2012 into 2013 and maintain the status quo is to regress further. A message to our government for the New Year: give us reason to believe a better Lebanon is possible.