If I was asked for a solution to a lot of the Middle East disputes, I would advice to give out laxatives to everyone.
Where I come from, we have diverse cultures, some are liberal and others are very conservative, which in turn are two types, the one that chooses to be conservative and respects freedom of choice and the one that likes to rub their “conservatism” in your face and stuff it down your throat.
It happens that I too come from a conservative cultural background and I do understand what it means to be born in that culture but have a liberal mind and a rebellious soul.
It’s a huge controversial subject among people who are living that struggle, some are literally suffering to balance between what their born, raised and embedded cultural beliefs are and who they really are or want to be. The struggle does not come from making that decision only, it’s a whole lot bigger and more complicated matter. For a big part of traditional culture is control, where it doesn’t only raise people to those beliefs but it also performs a social, mental, emotional and sometimes physical pressure and force to abide by these rules.
These rules don’t just determine what you should believe in, but it goes down to all aspects of your life; how you should dress, talk, walk, fart, where to work, places to go to, entertainment, things to watch, whether to have a tattoo or not, who to date and marry, which school you or your children have to go to, and it doesn’t even stop at what you should fantasize about!
People growing up in these communities do have many burdens, social pressures and expectations to meet, some develop to become a supporter of that constipated community and part of it, while others grow up to be confused, anxious, and sometimes psychologically unstable.
Why constipated? Simply because there is so much going on in there and it’s not letting go! So much micro management and monitoring, control, nitpicking, and no room to cut some slack. I mean, chill out, take a pill or something! Another reason, they like to live in the dark, they love to be lied to, as long as this big fat lie caters to what they want to believe. And that’s what people coming out of this culture end up doing, they lie, they live dual lives, they become chameleons, put on their “good child” hat when they are around their constipated communities, and take it off when they are on their own.
However, I believe people can change, really, I do. I mean I had to fight my own battle, it wasn’t super easy but I was able to influence a little change. Why? because I have always been independent within, and I had “that” attitude. I was 14 (and that was long time ago) when I started thinking that I will travel and live alone which in that culture, back then, was a big deal. Years later, I made it happened, and I was so grateful for that… It does not mean that all situations are the same but it simply means you are at peace with who you are at least for the time being, even if later things changed, your perception changed, there’s nothing wrong with embracing that change, as long as it makes you happy, content, respectful for other’s choices and at peace with your own.
And that’s my two cents worth..