Thursday, February 12, 2009

How a Government is Like a Parent

So I got to thinking...I hear all the time, being an American, how the US doesn't treat its citizens the same way that Kuwait does.
"Kuwait takes care of its people better than you do in the US," they say.
After hearing variations on this theme again an again, I found myself reflecting on the notion of 'taking care of' and all of its connotations.

I grew up an educator's child, and this afforded me a view into a world that was at once mine and also not. Being part of a world of highly privileged people and in some ways being one myself, just not to the level of some of my counterparts, I became an adept observer of life.
So many of my good friends worked diligently to get the highest grades, participate in athletics and extra-curricular activities, and generally polish themselves into well-rounded, educated, cultured people.
There were some other of my friends, however, who coasted along not worrying too much about their grades or their future, for that matter. For them, their family dynasty was awaiting, and they needn't be bothered so much about the interim; they knew they would be taken care of.

In the end, after college, where some friends attended 'A' list and some 'C' list, and the early learning years of careers, both types of my friends ended up as 'successful' people, meaning that they were still a part of the economically privileged. Often they ended up living in the same neighborhoods, driving the same cars, having children in the same private schools, and being members of the same country clubs, but owing to the decidedly different modes of arriving at that point, some inherent difference between the two types of people must exist. How is this difference manifest, and is it significant? My short answer to that question is a decided yes.

And here is where my analogy starts to come into play. You see, my friends who were never encouraged to worry about developing and educating themselves never evolved that much and remained much as they were in high school: self-involved, self-serving and inward-looking people. That is not to say that they weren't nice people, but they just never got much beyond their own little world and their own needs. I also noticed that they carried a dependence on their family into their adult years that rendered them juvenile in many ways.

My other friends who worked hard to get where they were understood the value of hard work, and that there are many ways of solving a problem. They had a sense of accomplishment that could never be given to them by anyone. In short, they had evolved; they had come across a problem, set a course to tackle it, and they had achieved their goal. They had learned that they could stand on their own two feet.

The funny thing is, both kinds of friends had loving, well-meaning parents, whose only goal, I feel sure, was to take care of their children. And there are many ways to skin a cat, so to speak, but in the end, what is most beneficial to the survival of a species, is to produce productive, contributing, creative, compassionate individuals who can do something to make the world a better place to live in, if even in only some small way.
It ultimately falls to the parent to decide what is the best way to encourage such an outcome.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

One Thing That Kuwait Needs Most

Why can't Kuwait have a police force that is effective? I don't think I have ever seen anyone getting pulled on the highway. Many are the times that I wish I could become a police officer and pull some of these idiots who fly down the highway with absolutely NO regard for human life. Also, I would love to slap a fine on the jerks who toss their trash so casually from their cars.
Maybe, Kuwait could contract the job out and get some police that would be able to enforce the laws here. I truly think that if there was effective law enforcement here, then you could get so much accomplished in the way of straightening this country out. Heck, you could impose labor punishment for violators of littering. Imagine how embarrassed ol' 'Bader' would be to have to don an orange work suit and pick trash up along the highway.
And why is it that other Gulf countries don't seem to have the same problems with respecting their own countries and their respective laws? Why don't people here get enraged about having to live in all of this trash...and where is the government?????????????????????