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A MAN is endowed with a set of principles. He is constantly facing challenges over preserving and developing those principles in proportion to his ability to resist. However, when he begins to abandon them, he is like the one who is stripped naked gradually, and becomes a slave to fear and illusion.
It is possible to look at what is happening in the Kuwaiti political arena using this logic, as some have abandoned their principles because they see this as a temporary salvation for them, but little do they know that they are on a journey of concessions that do not stop anywhere.
In this regard, I read an old story of a cockerel who used to call for prayers every dawn. One morning, its owner said to him, “Oh, cockerel, do not call for prayers, or else I will pluck your feathers!”
The cockerel was afraid and said to himself, “Necessities know no laws. It is smart to concede and bow a little to the storm until it passes in order to protect myself. There are other cockerels who can call for prayers.”
After a week, his owner came and said, “Oh, cockerel, if you do not lay eggs like a chicken, I will slaughter you!”
The cockerel said to himself, “It is safe for me to concede and bow a little to the storm until it passes in order to protect myself.”
Days passed and our cockerel that used to wake us up in the morning became like a chicken. After a month, its owner went to him and said, “Oh, cockerel, either you lay eggs like chicken, or I will slaughter you tomorrow!”
That was when the cockerel wept and said, “I wish I had died calling for prayer rather than dying like a chicken!”
This is how a series of concessions on principles, values and morals starts. It begins with intimidation and eventually reaches into becoming a slave to illusion.
One of the worst things that any country can go through is the lack of sense of responsibility among officials, and the use of events as occasions to prove the ability to blackmail the opposite party. It is as if homelands are stadiums for scoring points. Without a sense of shame, the country pays one heavy price after another, which makes it go down a slope to the very bottom.
For about a year and a half, the media was flooded with statements by opposition MPs, who always raise the bar to the highest extent, while the previous government abandoned its executive responsibility. This is because the government believed that the harsh tone of the MPs was nothing more than crowing of a cockerel who would quickly stop when his feelings were tickled with some illusory concessions.
This led the government to settle for lack of achievement, knowing that no one would hold it accountable, because the National Assembly is busy with the game of chairs and seeking amnesty.
It is true that the MPs whose voices were louder than others managed to achieve what they aspired to, but they also gave up a lot, while the government that took the oath this week was not better off.
What happened in the parliamentary session means that the waves will be high against the government that will end up quoting the cockerel in saying, “Necessities know no laws, and it is smart to concede,” which is also the mouthpiece of the MPs.
Therefore, we have to wait with more despair for any reform expected from a parliament and government that have fallen victim to servitude to office and fear of illusion.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times