Thursday, June 23, 2011

If We Will, We Will

The philosophy of wills, means and ends

They say that where there's a will there's a way, which implies that the precondition of a "way" is the will itself... Speaking in less cipher; one can say that if you want something to happen badly enough, you should be willing to do what it takes to get it. It is not enough to just will it but this will must be accompanied with the willingness to take action. By no means does this imply that any ends justify the means. On the contrary, the will has to be one such that laws of integrity and humanity apply and where the end is one that suits all and not some.

Ends vs means

To place this subject in the context of the conflict in Bahrain, the opposition's motives had been clean and legitimate at the beginning of their protests asking for political and social reforms (the ends). However, they used illegitimate means to reach these ends (i.e. Unauthorized demonstrations). Soon after the authorities made an attempt to restore order and dismantle these illegal protests the ends of the protesters have begun to change erratically and they started using unruly means to reach their ends. All the while Bahrain has been at a war of wills in which it was proven that those with the biggest will won each battle.
With a revolution three decades in the making it is obvious that the will is more than strong and the creativity in the means used to reach these objectives has been found to grow exponentially throughout its phases.  What started out as defamatory graffiti on the wall evolved into burning tyres to Molotov cocktail attacks on police cars ended in exacerbating wounds for dramatic effect and faking own deaths. The will has become so strong that the means, however horrendous or preposterous they were had become justified to reach the ends.  The result is a fabricated and amplified revolution that has caught the attention of the world simply because of this strong will.

Wills, means and consequences

"accusing #Bahrain's conduct of being unjust shows a belief not in democracy but that actions don't and shouldn't have consequences" - 

This tweet from my dear friend sums up the situation today quite effectively. After the sentencing of 21 instigators of unrest to prison terms ranging from 2 years to life, unrest resumes as vandals block minor roads with dumpsters and spill gasoline on the roads to express their objection to the verdicts.
The will translates into radical means to reach an impossible end has earned these figure heads their deserved penalty in the eye of the law and in the most transparent and legitimate process possible. Yet Ali Salman is still in his state of denial and the concept of justice remains a one way street in the eyes of the opposition. Consequences mean nothing and retaliation is the predominant means but to what ends we have yet to discover.

Fe Fi Fo Fum

On the other hand, the rest of Bahrain had been taken by storm unable to process what happened fast enough to build a will or a means to an undetermined end. Amidst this rude awakening arises a force appropriately dubbed The Sunni Giant by the esteemed Ms. Sawsan Al Shaer when more than half of Bahrain while still in its dazed state got swept away by The Gathering Of National Unity and led into the largest assembly in the history of Bahrain represented by all sects, religions and affiliations all united under one common message of unity, progress and reform.  The will emerged when there was a need for a united front against the atrocities of the roundabout and to counter the sectarian detour the demands had taken. In only days The Gathering Of National Unity has assembled hundreds of thousands of people at Al Fateh mosque which was chosen for its size and symbolic value. Unprecedented in the history of this island, the 52% Sunnis who have never before united so solemnly for a single cause have made their way from all corners of the island to pledge their allegiance to its monarchy and to present their demands in a civilized and orderly manner.  Accompanied by their fellow occupants of bahrain who have been marginalized by the protesters for their nationality and non-Muslim religious affiliations, these people grew in strength and will. The will: to be heard and for their existence to be acknowledged. The means: a large gathering out of the way of major roads, no slanderous slogans, no tyre burning, no graffiti on the wall and no beating and killing of expats.
The will has now evolved into a desire to reach beyond the geographical realms of Bahrain after attempts to connect with the opposition in some kind of reconciliation had failed miserably due to their preoccupation with spreading their libelous messages to the west and tarnishing the good name of this country for their selfish gain. The TGONU spark has ignited a flame that has been simmering during the first days of the revolt looking for that fuel to light it full force. The will has increased exponentially and people were looking for the means through which they can realize their ends and consequently individuals and small groups have emerged, scattered as they were, but united under one goal which is to defend the honor of their home.
As the groups start to familiarize themselves with the monster within and the enemy without we slowly see their messages aligning and the effectiveness of it all was witnessed when a certain human rights activist was denied access to certain forums and was then given the third degree by the US congress. The means have finally seen an end and this encouraged thousands upon thousands to jump on the bandwagon and to join the media crusade to bring truth back home. Very quickly niches have been filled and efforts have found unison and what was a small voice of a few turned into the loud roar and the result has become mergers between groups, reference points for facts and figures and subject matter experts. Now we see better coordination and leadership spring from nothing only to become the front line defense for bahrain. Leaders and intellectuals have come to the surface and set the bar so high that the rest are striving to reach it. The Giant's size and voice, so large, is now giving the opposition something to think about and bringing them out into unchartered territory actually having to defend themselves to someone and justifying their actions after being unquestioned in the past. 

And so we will

And thus there is a great lesson to be learned here. With a strong will one can achieve in 3 months what took 3 decades to fail.  With a strong will the means find their way into our world and all pieces of the puzzle fall into place. Similar wills bring together people with similar means to achieve similar ends. There is strength in numbers but groups are made of individuals with small efforts so let us be this individualistic group of strong wills and let us unite towards achieving the ultimate end: to bring back the Bahrain we know and love and put it back on it's journey of reform and prosperity under the leadership of his majesty the king...


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