I grew up in times of turmoil, during the Lebanese civil war back in the 80s, but the war didn’t break us, we, the Lebanese people, have always considered ourselves as world explorers and skilled traders. Positively, the war which forced a big majority to immigrate, pushed them into excelling in different industries outside of Lebanon and to spread the Lebanese culture to the furthest ends of the world.
In Brazil for example, there are three times more native Lebanese/Brazilians than there are native Lebanese still residing in Lebanon. In tough times, our diaspora became our first investor, an angel investor helping us in making ends meet.
Lebanon was voted as one of the most expensive countries in the Middle East.
The war did not destroy us but worst, the war polluted us. The war infected us with an ever-growing disease, it infected us with resentment for one other, with biases, double standards and prejudices towards one another, and the worst of all, it infected us with a fake sense of entitlement.
Most grew up believing they are above the law, above the rules. Most grew up believing in themselves more than in their country and as a result we, the people who decided to play fair, get robbed, manipulated and deceived every single day.
They deceived us with their promises, with their actions and with their judgments, while the wicked entitled were getting richer, the gullible patriots were getting poorer and poorer.
Unexplainably high bills, for food, electricity and gas, noting that to this day we do not have electricity on a 24h basis. Expensive private schooling since our public schools were left to decay. Expensive universities and even more expensive bribes every time you needed to stamp a paper or get something done!
November 2019 was the start of the Lebanese revolution, against corruption and faulty promises. A revolution that shut the whole country down, followed by the coronavirus pandemic when the embezzlements of the wicked entitled became obvious.
There was nowhere to hide anymore, the country released a statement of bankruptcy and all assets in the Lebanese banks were detained. An inflation followed by a stock-faltion and the dollar value rose by 700% against the local currency in the first few months and salaries were reduced by 40% with over 1 million Lebanese now unemployed.
How can we remain grounded when our whole world has flipped upside down?
Where is the silver lining?
Ruling out the existence of superman or superheroes ready to fly in and save the day, when it is the fate of the whole country we are dealing with, there is no silver lining.
For a silver lining is something very personal, it is a shift in someone’s life and perspective as Rumi says: “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”
There are two types of mindsets in the world nowadays; you have the people who view the world with a Traders’ Mindset; seeing all encounters, conversations and reactions as business transactions, what do I get in return of what is expected of me?. And you have those who are first observers and second co-creators with life, those people have a Collaborators’ Mindset, they take chances, create the unexpected, and look at what they have to offer before looking at what they have to gain.
In the Amazon #1Best Selling Book I co-authored recently; Ignite Female Change Makers I go into details describing those two mindsets and how they react, shocked, faced by crisis.
The two dynamics are opposites. Most of the population is domesticated as traders, raised in fear with a competitive nature and thrive to overthrow others. In between the masses are those who transition towards collaboration, armed with self-knowledge, they are ready to serve from their full potential without any expectations. They share with the world who they are mixing it with the opportunities that life presents to them, no matter how scarce and difficult those opportunities might be.
Traders seize opportunities while collaborators create them.
When the world is flipping, when we are no longer sure of what we used to know, when every day we hear: “Before corona is not the same as after corona” or the famous phrase nowadays in Lebanon: “Tomorrow we might wake up with no electricity , no internet , no food and a country on the verge of a civil war” a country which once was so rich and alive, when what once was blue is no longer peaceful and what once was green became black & white, which of these two mindsets do you think will allow you to build resilience in the middle of turmoil?