Election period. A time of hope, often followed by feelings of despair. Post election blues. How do we respond?
After a 9 year break, Lebanon held elections this past Sunday. Leading up to the elections, there was talk of 24/7 electricity, faster internet, better roads, and a better Lebanon. And here we are - still waiting for change. And it’s so frustrating! It’s hard not to lose hope. When will things actually change? And is there a time when we should just give up?
But we can't give up because deep down inside, we know we can't lose hope. Change takes time, and we're not ready to give up now, or ever.
So we went around and asked a few people to share their advice and thoughts concerning the post elections blues. We hope these words leave you feeling challenged and encouraged.
"Kicking out hope instead of learning the lessons doesn’t solve anything. In the game of life, the likelihood of things going ‘wrong’ far outweighs that of things going ‘right’. Given our prior knowledge of how things work, our progress depends on learning the lessons to create change."
We all want instant change, but unfortunately it doesn't work that way. Another young Lebanese, who recently moved back to Lebanon, stressed the importance of not giving up:
"We need to build on the momentum that was felt leading up to this election. There is still a long way to go, and each and everyone of us has an important role to play."
Let us be people who choose to hold on to hope. People will call you naive or overly-optimistic, but be well-informed and action-orientated, and then challenge those around you to work for change and to hold onto their hope.
Even though it might be hard to see, there are winds of change, even if it's a small breeze.
Though the numbers may be small, this election did place new faces in the parliament, and these leaders vow to make necessary changes. Yes, we can choose to be cynical and say they'll become like the rest. Or we can choose to have the benefit of the doubt, hope for the best, and then hold them accountable and encourage our leaders to work for a better Lebanon.
So we’ll leave you with the challenge to not kick out hope. We need it to keep working
If you're in Beirut this weekend, be sure to join us for the TEDxHamraSalon: The X on the Ballot event, Sunday, May 13 at 6pm at The Olive Grove.