When I started this blog, I said to myself that I was going to try tell my stories in the most unbiased manner possible, relating everything as it happened. I wanted to put some humour that parents could relate to. Most important of all, I was not going to talk about religion and politics.My views are personal and I’d rather have a good debate with people rather than shove my opinion down people’s throat through the medium of technology.
Where’s the fun when you haven’t got someone to answer back and argue the point. Even the people who I’m friends with on social media will agree that I don’t put many political or religious ideals forward. The most I’ll do is put a concern forward to take on board what others have to say or I’ll answer a tread, especially if I feel strongly about it.
There is no such thing as a country that is free from greed and corruption and the referendum on Europe proved it. I find it sad when people believ that they need to lie in order to win. That’s not the kind of example I want my children to follow. If the people who run a country can’t be honest in their campaign, what hope is there for the future of our children?
These kind of situations play a great deal on my mind and it takes a lot for me to speak about them. It was a democratic process and the best campaign won in the end.
However, there are some things I want to share about some experiences I’ve had living in a dictatorship. Even though I didn’t spend any significant amount of time in this country to make a difference to my thought processes, it has made an impact on me, the way the people had to live their everyday life.
Like in every dictatorial state, the leader of the country does a lot, to start with, to get the people on his side. They might benefit by getting free medical care, a home for everyone so that no one lives on the street. Essential bills, like water, gas and electricity might be reduced or completely abolished.
But at what price?
One of my earliest memories; I was around four maybe five years of age. I had sat down to have my meal and the television was on. I was flicking through the channels trying to find some cartoons to watch but all the broadcasts had been blocked, all that could be viewed was the national channel.
A man was talking into the camera, behind him, stood men with nooses round their necks.
My mother was in the kitchen and my father was in another room.
‘For speaking ill of our great leader, yadda yadda yadda (and all the praise they give their leaders), you have been condemned to hang by you necks until you are dead. Do you have any last words.’
Every one of those men had blank stares in their eyes, one of them broke down and sobbed, praying to God to be spared when the planks under their feet were released, their feet hanging, kicking in mid air trying to find something to lean on for salvation.
That’s when my father came in and switched the television off, asking me why was I watching that junk?
‘You are too young to be watching horror films.’
I was confused, I thought horror films were only shown at night and it was only early evening.
As always, it’s not until you are a bit older that you realise what you were watching and the effect it can have on your fragile little mind.
I remember going out with my uncles or friends, being looked upon with suspicion.
‘Is he safe?’ These people would ask.
‘Yes, he’s a foreigner. He doesn’t understand.’
Then they would talk about the government, the way things were going in the country….things that we take for granted.
We can freely express our dislike for our leaders and the way they run the country, but they couldn’t. There were spies and snitches everywhere who would have sold their mothers for a reward or a favour from one of the police who patrolled the streets.
Yes, they had luxuries, but at what cost?
I heard it said many times that they would rather live on the streets as a free person, to be able to say and think what they liked instead of having some material possessions and live in fear.
So, I understand immigrants who want to flee their countries because they live in fear. Be it war or the terror imposed by their regime.
We are created equal and to feel like you are equal is one of the most liberating feelings in the world, regardless whether the politicians are liars or corrupt scumbags. Look at Italy as a prime example, their former prime minister was a pawn for the mob, but the people where still free to express their beliefs.
Just to be able to say it is a feeling of great freedom.
So I thank my blessings that I live in this country where I can express my opinion without fear of repercussion (within reason of course, I’m sure that talking about a coup wouldn’t go unnoticed). I’m glad that my children can look at politicians and can give an honest opinion without worrying about being prosecuted or persecuted for their ideals. For all its faults, this is a good country we live in and it’s a shame that the minority of ignorant beings who inhabit this planet are trying to scare us into a hole so we can live a sheltered life scared of our own shadow.
So I rejoice and count my blessings everyday as long as I live here.
I’ve added a link from one of my favourite comedians, I’ve come to admire him for the way he deals with what life has thrown at him: