On Being Superficial & Such

To those of you I know who might be reading this, the post is not directed at you. It’s merely an observation of myself, nothing more nor less.

I never understood how someone can become superficial, but over the years I have transformed into someone who is, and, looking back, I am trying to understand how all of this happened.

It continually drives me insane when people remark on those less fortunate and judging them by their cars or clothes or the restaurants they go to, and associate that with their manners. Less fortunate people might be more predisposed to be “vulgar” but I am yet to find a proof that everyone who drives a 170,000+ dirham car is no less vulgar than the average or less than average Joe.

And the “mafia wars” of races and cultures is pathetic, and I am one of the biggest victims here. Jokes of Lebanese vs Syrians coupled with events in the recent years have engraved my brain with the notion that we are in a cultural war of dominance. Reinforcing that notion are a couple of bad apples from both sides – all while completely disregarding the fact that one of my best friends and one of my childhood friends and buddies are Lebanese, and I trust them with anything I have.

Having met the “good and regular” apples from the Lebanese basket I have come to realize how uneasy and paranoid I am around people, always thinking that there is a mental war brewing between us, when there isn’t. Over time it has diminished, and I make a conscious effort to keep that in mind; it is unfair to both of us to skew interpretations based on a narrow field of vision I have imposed on it.

The ironic part is that the Syrians I would consider friends can be counted with one hand while holding a fork.

So how has it come to this? It hit me when my ex said it bluntly in my face – I am the most superficial person she has ever met. Of all things we argued about this is the only thing I really wanted to look at because I know I was never like that. Prior to my exposure to human beings at the age of 17 I have been the most empathetic person I have come to know (not that there was someone to feel empathy for, but you know, books have people). During college, it persisted, but after that something went wrong.

Blaming Dubai for this won’t solve any issues. But the city and the environment you’re exposed to in that city will profile you no matter what – it’s merely a matter of how predisposed you are to being molded and stepped over that affects how much profiling it does. And in my case it has been a lot, I am ashamed to be, but not ashamed to admit. Back in the good green Levant it doesn’t even cross my mind. Most of my superficial “filters” are automatically switched off, amongst other things that make my brain work like clockwork. Back home I am a completely different person, and people who have seen both versions can attest to that.

Over the past year things have significantly improved yet it’s been difficult to pull this off alone. Telling people I am a racist bastard who needs help made me even more paranoid, but now that I’ve covered a good distance myself, I do feel that I need more social support to help me through.

I won’t blame you if you judge me. I’m doing my best to fix myself and I won’t let myself down. Most other things in my life have failed miserably in the past couple of years, but if there’s one thing I am going to put a 1500% to salvage from that wreck it is me.