Ever the optimist?
It's been a bleak day in Mostar; rain non-stop for at least the last twelve hours. We're almost moved so today found us stuck in a half-empty apartment with little to do and even less motivation to do it. After watching a football match I had a passing interest in and falling sleep for the duration of the one I wanted to watch I found myself catching up with some other blogs. It was this that lead me to a Radio 4 documentary: The Rise and Fall of Yugoslavia by Martin Bell.
I like to think of myself as an optimistic person. I have been accused of such in the past, although sometimes when I listen to myself talking I have my doubts. For a foreigner living an adopted country I believe it's important to keep a positive outlook. I find it insulting when other internationals constantly talk about how life is safer, more civilised, or whatever, in their homeland. I'm sure the constant critique must grate on local people even more. The permanently vexed ex-pat has the option of going home but many people for whom this is home can't leave and they need all the help they can get to help this country be the best it can be. Criticism alone won't fix things. Yes, the problems are often obvious. What's needed is people prepared to engage with the issues and work to make a change.
After listening to Martin Bell this evening it was hard to lift myself back to such positivity as I headed out into the dark and the rain for some essential shopping. His conclusion wasn't as bleak as it could be but neither did it offer any hope for imminent improvement in the issues that hold back this countries development. In the interests of balance, and an exploration of issues this blog often cheerily glosses over, you might want to take a listen for yourself. Do it quickly as the link will expire and have something planned to lighten the mood afterwards!