There are few certainties in life: the sun will rise from the east and set in the west. Objects tend to fall back down when thrown up. And Jordanian Tawjihi (Secondary final exam) student will complain about the ‘difficulty’ of the math test. Another certainty: they will find a journalist to write about the complaints. Every year.
Here is one of the things that are wrong with this country: across many fields and on various levels, people just want to have it easy. They take ‘easy’ fro granted.
Students complain when tests are hard. Isn’t everyone getting the same test? So its fair! Why complain? Test are exactly that: TESTS. They are there to measure and grade people. As long as everyone is tested in the same way, tests should be hard.
People are not willing to walk a little and take the pedestrian bridge and prefer to penetrate the traffic and the metal safety fence. It’s just easier.
When it comes to work, many Jordanians shun a wide range of jobs: from construction to restaurant service. They want an easy government job behind a desk.
When it comes to our educated elite, they want transparent and fair governance but won’t participate in public forums or elections (sorry, voting for your cousin isn’t really political participation).
We expect to live in safety and security, buttressed by European and American aid, shop for American and European brands (easy), but don’t want to understand that this comes at a political price (hard).
In general, there is a tendency to always blame the others (the government, the West, etc.) which is easy. But rarely do people take a hard look at themselves and their own responsibilities.
Our lifestyle benchmark has become that of Dubai or the Gulf. Places where money literally spurts out of the ground. Or we want European-level services, and forget how hard Europeans work and how much they get taxed.
It is wrong to generalize. There are many hard working Jordanians. There are also many Jordanian with little access to opportunities. And government is riddled with inefficiency and poor governance. Still, I think that Jordan needs to adopt a new public communication and media policy targeted at our youth and our young professionals:
“Listen guys and girls. Tests are going to be hard. Because life is often hard. The world is competitive and there are 2 billion Chinese and Indians out there who are hungrier than you yet willing to work hard for a better life. The government will try do its best, but as a country we can’t do anything unless we find ways to produce more. Don’t expect foreign aid to rescue us or a new real estate boom to bring us easy money. Hold on to every chance you get and work to build on it. Thank you for your attention”.