Disclaimer: This article does not delve into political, economic, or social analysis, nor does it aim to provide a historical review of the situation. Instead, it offers a subjective perspective in an equally subjective context.
By Adriana Lebbos
Feel free to label them as you wish: lazy, losers, brainless, shallow, ambitionless, or apathetic. However, I won't attempt to counter your judgments, defend them, or prove you wrong. But one undeniable truth remains - Lebanese people possess a life force, Eros, that outweighs the pull of Thanatos, the death drive.
Without this force, there is no life.
Death will eventually prevail when the final chapter unfolds. So, why surrender to it prematurely?
More Eros than Thanatos - the essence of what allowed Viktor Frankl to endure the horrors of concentration camps. Frankl, one of the 28 survivors among countless prisoners, emphasised in his extraordinary psychological memoir, 'Man's Search for Meaning', the life-saving value of humour.
Besides the solace he found in imagining conversations with his wife, for Frankl, humour, even if fleeting, was a lifeline. “Humor was another of the soul’s weapons in the fight for self-preservation.
It is well known that humour, more than anything else in the human make-up, can afford an aloofness and an ability to rise above any situation, even if only for a few seconds.” He even trained a detainee friend on developing a sense of humour, a must for survival.
Above all, it was the belief that, regardless of the atrocities inflicted upon him, he retained the power to choose his response: "The one thing you can't take away from me is how I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one's freedoms is to choose one's attitude in any given circumstance."
To be honest, despite being one of them, I was among the first to criticise my fellow Lebanese for seemingly giving up and adopting a carefree attitude amidst the chaos. I even cynically mused that the mythical phoenix, known for its resilience, should be choked to death to succumb finally. Because, yes, it's always simpler to judge than to empathise.
Then, I had a mindset shift. We all know that we reside in a failed state where corruption lurks in every corner. No matter what we do, the abyss of corruption will only stare back at us if we stare at it. Isn’t it easier to bask in the sun's blinding rays than to face this depth of darkness?
Rays - yes, that's what truly matters. We all gravitate toward people who radiate sunshine. Why align with drama queens when we can choose laughter? We can confront life's darker facets and shout, "Hey, you don't intimidate me. I'll blind you with my light."
To the cynics, poised to express their disdainful comments, I say: "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right-doing, there is a field. I'll meet you there."
Adriana is a freelance copywriter and columnist. She works with various well-known and lesser-known agencies. With a background in communication arts, she has published three books in French (PhilosoFILLE, 1.2.toi.soleil and Panne des Sens) and lives “under the spell of the fascinating random”.