It seems to me that at times we have become a society obsessed with bad news, scandal, sex and politics in either the press in general, or blogs in particular. Yet we also understand that some blogs convey stories of inspiration and celebration. The challenge to find a balance can be frustrating …
As we work here in Romania, there are things that can be said and other things that are better left unsaid. When the government here is challenged or criticized, there has been a history of retaliation against the NGOs, the authors, and in the end, the recipients of the NGO’s good will and support. Editorials related to historical scandals within the government can bring out deep resentment, such as the outrage seen throughout the world when the world press focused on Romania’s treatment of children with disabilities in the institutions 10-12 years ago. When this occurs, there are at least three possible outcomes:
- First, Romanians are once more type-cast as uncaring, cruel and ignorant people.
- Secondly, the more these scandals occur and are publicized, the more people become immune to the criticisms and accept their government for what the press says it is … often becoming a form of a “self-fulfilling prophecy.”
- Finally, it builds a sense of resentment among Romanians against the rest of the world.
In our work here in Romania, we see elements of all of the above. It is often translated as we talk with people as anger at their government, reluctance to take personal responsibility, fear of the political chiefs, and a pessimism that borders on fatalism. So if this little piece doesn’t move you to comment, that is OK, but if you have something say, please leave a comment.
Rich and Barb