The Enemy in Your Eye
If there were a page in a dictionary remaining untouchable, that would be the one for “corruption”. Regrettably, it is a phenomenon, which meaning most of the population doesn’t have to search for, due to the obnoxious life experience.
Corruption has become the twenty first century annotation chasing each and every person. People face dishonest and illegal behavior everyday starting with a corrupted highway patrol up to light-fingered Secretaries. Developing countries with underdone system of law protection and despotic regimes suffer the most. They almost don’t have any opportunity to whistle about the exploitation and nepotism because those, who gave pledge to protect the citizens, act in concert with depraved governors and syndicates. Corruption is nurtured there by the authoritarian regimes and intimidations of police and military forces. However, countries with the recently fallen regime still come across malfeasance and fraud too often. I believe that happens because the new government and a lot of citizens themselves do not know the other way of handling businesses. It is absolutely impossible to change mentality and follow the right path, if there is no one to guide them. I guess it will take a couple of decades to uproot the accustomed dishonesty and demoralization among both high and low ranks in government. Less common, yet, corruption remains to be an illness even in well-developed countries, too. The former prime minister of the United Kingdom David Cameron accurately named it “as the cancer at the heart” of many global issues. That reminded me of Christian Andersen’s fairy tale “The Snow Queen”. It feels that the “splinters” of dishonesty and bribery have gotten into many eyes. We face the consequences though sometimes we become the source of the problem.
Nevertheless, the society is fighting for the prosperous future. Getting back to my thesis, on the other hand, everyone knowing about corruption is an advantage in the fight against improper and unlawful means. As Sun Tzu teaches: know your enemy. The only way to stand against deception is to enlighten citizens and especially growing generation – children and students, who is the “enemy”. Upbringing of the conscious, decent and educated shift for our generation is our main weapon, main hope and salvation.
Fortunately, things change and corruption is being pulled out to the light step by step, mostly, by virtue of the Internet and mass media. Victims now get the voice to tell their story and get hope for support and help. People get the courage to stand up for their rights, and what is even more important, not to become like abominable and nefarious money-grubbers. Referring to Katherine Boo and her book “Behind the Beautiful Forevers” about life in Mumbai slum makes me believe in humanity. She wrote: “It is easy, from a safe distance, to overlook the fact that in under-cities governed by corruption, where exhausted people vie on scant terrain for very little, it is blisteringly hard to be good. The astonishment is that some people are good, and that many people try to be.” Those books and real life stories inspire others to preserve dignity and morality in the darkest moments.
Summing up all of the above, I should say that Shakespeare was right -”all the devils are here”: hunger, war, blind fury, indifference and iniquity in armor of corruption. The world is full of evil and danger. But it is also full of honorable and brave people. We should find the courage in ourselves as well, to fight corruption starting from us, dare to recognize the enemy and admit the mistakes we all could have done. I truly believe that melting the “splinter” in our eyes is the only way to put the edge.