Friday, January 18, 2013

Money Talks in Abdoun

This is true everywhere but it couldn't be more tangible for me than it is in Abdoun, Amman.  As I have gained more first-hand exposure to the area, it is clear to me that Abdouni's driving reflects their attitudes toward others.  On a cold and slushy day, I carefully bundled myself up with the warmest clothes and found myself on the sides streets of Abdoun.

As I was walking, I was basically hugging the stone walls of one of the houses as a large black Cadillac Escalade careened around a corner and thundered down the street with a single driver.  Now, naturally, if I was driving and saw someone basically hugging the wall as they walked down the sidewalk, I would slow down a little to be sure that I didn't splash the pedestrian.  This was clearly a tall order because this young shab sped up when he saw me and splashed me with gusto as he flew by.

At this point, I was fuming because I had just purposely been splashed by the village idiot.  As I was replaying what had just happened over in my head I said, "He drives like he owns the roads...  Oh wait, he basically does..." I then came to the conclusion that if I didn't have the means to afford my own car in such weather, this reflected my personal lack of value.  Ten points, Buddy! You got me.

According to some people with significant wealth, they do not care what you believe, how you treat others or how you live your life; your value lies in what you own and purchasing power.  Without money, you are worthless and deserve to be trod upon.  I say that this is evident in how they drive because in years past, when I have come through this area, I have watched as Mustangs, Hummers and Cameros peel around corners, cut people off and make a big show that screams "Look at me! I am better than the rules because I can buy my way out!".  I have also watched these individuals make their way into restaurants with smug looks as they efficiently scan and offer disapproving glances as they pass by wearing latest fashions.

I hope that no matter what socio-economic status I attain in my life, I will remain humble and value individuals not by what they own but by what they are and can become.  I hope to always be compassionate, polite and kind regardless of where I stand in society.
((These statements are clearly not applicable to all individuals of wealth, but I have been greatly impressed to write this blog due to recent interactions with a few gems that do fall within this category of privilege and entitlement.))

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