Sidi Ifni- MWN
Sidi Ifni- MWN
It wasn’t long ago when MWN published an article of mine entitled “Happiness is Ephemeral” in which I stated the motivational reasons leading some to lead a happy life and others to lead a miserable, sad one. The bottom line of the article is that happiness doesn’t last long, and that wealth is not necessarily the key factor to feeling content. According to the daily newspaper Al Massae, a report released by an American institute reveals that Morocco holds almost the lowest place with regard to the number of Moroccans who wear a cheerful smile and have a happy mind. Strangest of all is the fact that Somalia, a poverty-stricken country in all respects, Ethiopia, and Yemen are above our beloved Morocco. All this merely boils down to the fact that happiness stems from a peaceful mind, which Moroccans, regrettably, lack.
Among the criteria that the American Earth Institute at Columbia University set to rank countries were freedom of political life, corruption, mental and physical health, and financial and familial stability. Yet, the real mystery is what makes Morocco lag behind remarkably when it comes to the happiness exuded by Moroccans given the fact that the country isn’t as poor as Somalia, Ethiopia and many other developing, poor countries that ranking better. The answer must be that money isn’t all the time the catalyst that will render Moroccans happy overnight. Health, both physical and mental, transparency, and political repression among many other criteria, are rather the secret to solve the riddle.
Now that the criteria are crystal clear and precise, it is no longer surprising that Moroccans are reported to usually wear sad expressions on their faces. Think, for instance, of their mental health. Large numbers of Moroccan families are separated, and some of them live abroad for many years. They, the breadwinners, send their closest relatives some money to live on, and they are unable to see each other for a long time. Many Moroccans live in solitude in remote areas, and even if they are sent the appropriate means of a dignified livelihood, we must not forget that man is a social human being by nature. As a repercussion of all this, these families so often fall prey to nebulous mental problems. Mothers in Morocco long to see their children who have forsaken them in quest of a dignified live somewhere in Europe. So, how can one expect such Moroccan women to feel happy even though they happen to be rolling in money?
Morocco still prides itself on political freedom of speech, but Rachid Nini, a gagged famous journalist, Mohamed Erraji, an ex-imprisoned blogger, and other Moroccan voices have been put behind bars on the grounds that through their critical writings, they told the truth about their king, corrupt officials, and corruption of different sorts. Moroccans can never be happy if their freedom is in jeopardy. Even birds in cages shed tears and sing sad songs reverberating through the corridors, and the minute they are set free, they flutter their wings happily and fly incessantly, expressing their joy over the open air they think is theirs.
The same holds true for Moroccans when they feel that Morocco isn’t yet theirs; they are caught the minute they trespass on an uncharted mountain to earn a living. They are stopped on their way to Casablanca, and suspected of treason. So, what’s the use of demanding identity cards from citizens when there is no obvious reason for doing so? It is unlikely that Moroccan citizens will breathe a deep sigh of relief as a form of enjoying their lives if their opinions, voices, ideas, and protests are repressed. Freedom, the blessing Moroccans badly need, paves the way for one to be happy.
The absence of corruption contributes to boosting and creating the semblance of happiness among people. However, at a time when Morocco is corrupt to the core according to many ministers in charge of different sectors, we can expect Moroccans to feel sad about that. When they, for example, go to an office to procure an administrative paper, they are met with disdain, negligence, and procrastination on the part of the serving officials. At times, they feel compelled to bribery in order to be promptly served.
At other times, when they set out to build a house of their own and need a legal permit for that, they head for the authorities where some suggest they build without even a permit. To prove this, we need to answer one question: who was behind turning a blind eye to those who have constructed their illegally-built homes. Now, many houses have been demolished by the government, but no one shows any empathy and sympathy for the poor, the only victims. Owners can never be happy during the coming years until they manage to regain what has been destroyed.
Happiness isn’t something to be bestowed on us as the earth is with natural resources. We Moroccans need to make it a reality seen, experienced and felt, not a dream we have pursued for numerous years, but have never managed to get. It is high time we saw Moroccan cheerful faces trotting the globe. Don’t we have the full right to enjoy being happy at a time when we live in one of the most beautiful countries the world over? How come the coastal areas, the two seas, the desert, phosphate, the mountain ranges, the endless landscapes and panoramic views and many other worthwhile natural resources haven’t made us as happy as we should be? Something is amiss. Let us do our best to recognize it.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy.