The Lost Essence Of Simply Being Real
The title of this blog post makes it directly clear what I want to address here, or so I hope it does. In the case it doesn’t put forward the issue straight up, I will simplify it. First off, according to my intensely professional google-ing skills, the definition of real is:
- actually existing as a thing or occurring in fact; not imagined or supposed.
- (of a substance or thing) not imitation or artificial; genuine.”
What Do I Really Mean By Real?
Yet, what I imply by real is somehow a combination of the two—one that is derived and dives in beyond the literal sense. Therefore, let me rephrase my initial question, why are Lebanese people so afraid of actually existing genuinely? Of course this is not meant to sound like an overgeneralization and this is obviously not applicable on everyone; yet, for the past couple of years, I have felt that people have lost this humane side to the. I am not addressing their capability of being compassionate. I am strictly discussing the essence of being oneself with another.
To be more explicit, what happened to light hearted conversations that are not affiliated with the “new trending scandal”? What happened to the capability of being vulnerable and naked in front of one another? What happened to doing whatever or saying whatever, within the limits of respect, without overthinking if we would be accepted or not? Did this beauty in life disappear or just never seized to exist?
What I Have Been Told:
I have previously heard that Beirut was the hub of social interaction, it was “the Paris of the Middle East”. I have heard that Rawche and Ain al Mrayse, the simplest of places, were the places to be. People would sit around back in the day and sincerely enjoy each other, they would be real with each other. I heard this from my parents, grandparents, friends’ parents, taxi drivers, shop owners and so many more. They all told similar tales.
Yes, previous times were different but they were simpler in ways that extend further beyond the technological advancements we have today. Most of us have heard our grandparents tell us about how beautiful life in Lebanon used to be, we have heard our parents tell us about how difficult life in Lebanon is; and we ourselves have said that it is only getting worse.
What The Reality Is Really Like:
I have come across numerous people from all over Lebanon, all with so many different personalities. I have had my fair share of random conversations and small talk; yet I have had so little interaction with conversations that really showed me what the person in front of me is really about. We walk around with our guard up, hiding our true selves. Sometimes, we do even worse, we do not walk around, we follow—from basic decisions we take, all the way to what we are willing to discuss for hours. We follow and base our lives on materialistic things, or what is in style. We loose the essence of simple things and forget how to enjoy ourselves without particular factors.
Ironically, while writing this in a café at five in the morning, a car, with four men, pulled up near and parked. They put loud music and danced the dabke on the street while purely enjoying themselves. People around me laughed at them, accused them of being intoxicated or did not comprehend why these men would be making such a mockery out of themselves. Personally, I found it to provide a rush of positivity. If only we could all pull up and begin dancing—maybe, then we’ll understand that there is so much beauty in being real.