Rather long have I indulged in self-pity. This becomes more felt when I am abroad meeting individuals from different countries. We tell stories. We joke. We laugh. We part until we once more have our meeting.
Many of them are proud of their governments, their national leaders. Some of them have both good and bad news to tell about their countries and their public officials. When these exchanges take place, I just listen. I keep merely quiet. I pity myself.
That I do and that I feel—unless lies I must tell, and sorry would I be latter. I would be a hypocrite if I speak well about the national leadership in my country. I would be a liar if I profess admiration and gratitude for it. I would surely have a big lump in my throat if I praise and pretend to be proud of it.
How I wish it could be otherwise. If only the leader of my country could be a person known for integrity and sincerity. If only she would be above suspicion and distrust. If only there were neither angry marches nor bitter shouts made against her, no sick jokes said about her.
Would that I could be all three monkeys who see nothing, hear nothing, say nothing—and do nothing. Would that I were a fundamentalist positivist who see only what is right in every wrong, note the virtue in every vice.
Then I would see my country in bliss, the people in ecstasy. I could boast about a joyful present and a promising future for the people. Most of all, I could be proud when I have meetings with foreign friends and we happen to talk about our countries, about our leaders.
Not now perhaps but that time will surely come. Not today but sooner than later probably. Only the better can come after the worst. Only good news can come after the bad ones are said and done.
But for the moment, when I am abroad and meet with friends from other countries, I can only listen when they talk about theirs. I have to be quiet about mine. This I have to do lest they pity me. It is less painful when I pity myself instead of others having pity on me and my country.
30 November 2005