Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Control Issues

Let's just clear a few things up.
1) I am independent.
2) I am responsible.
3) I am strong.
4) I am a capable human being.
5) I am intelligent.
6) I am worthy of respect.
7) I am equal to anyone else in the world.
8) I do NOT like to be controlled, manipulated, looked down on, treated as a child, lied to or scammed. And I refuse to be treated thusly.

And therein lies our problem, Saudi. Cause you seem to think it's okay to do all of those things. And for what? What is the purpose? What do you gain besides control? Oh, that's what it is, isn't it? That's the point. You have control. Well, I really hate to break it to you, but when you bring in foreigners, we come with baggage, such as our own language, code of conduct and culture.

I wear the abaya and hijab. That's cool. I don't talk about certain things at school or with other Saudis that I meet. I try to be respectful of your culture and your laws. But for goodness sake, respect and cultural sensitivity is a two way street.

As people who have historically sought to achieve the "American Dream" through hard work and rugged individualism, we struggle with having every minute detail of our day to day life dictated by someone who neither knows nor cares about our wants and needs. We are not clay to be shaped by you, nor are we puppets to dance to your tune. Recognize that your expat community is not here for a joyride. We're here for a purpose, and that is to work and make money. So it's to your benefit to leave us alone to do our jobs, since you're clearly not ready to pick up the reins of dedicated work that needs to be done to keep your country running.

You all want to be managers, but who would you manage if the foreigners left? You want to be business people, but how would you sell anything if you had no one to complete the day to day operations for you? There's money to be made elsewhere in the world. We don't need to be here. Talk to us again when you've collectively decided as a society that it's not beneath you to work.

We chafe under the control. But what about your own populace? What happens when people get sick of the control? Then where would you be? Look to Ben Ali. Look to Egypt. Look around your neighborhood. Look to the dictators of South America. Control does not endear you to your people, and it's an unsustainable method of power. That's been tried and tested over and over and over in different cultures and countries. The more control you feel you need to exert, the more you are fearful of and the more you must in turn fear. And "We have nothing to fear but fear itself." Ah, there's the rub. Excess control=fear. Fear=downfall. Therefore, excess control=downfall. Huh. Lighten up.

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