Mark Gillett

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More on Freedom

with 4 comments

I was in an interesting thread the other day and the topic moved to freedom. Or perceived freedom.

The protests in Kuwait were at the centre of the topic and I just mentioned how I felt the freedoms they had in Kuwait were greater than they believed and that the life in the West under ‘democracy’ was not as ‘clean and fresh’ as they believed.

The protests were peaceful and for their constitutional rights.

I would just like to point out than recently I travelled to the leading nation of the democratic world, the USA. I have been a few times but this time I was more aware of things due to my travels to the Middle East and the discussions I have.

When in Kuwait I can drive my car as can everyone, I can park easily, I can go to the mall and I can wear the clothes I like. I can take a coffee, eat my cake and pretty much live as I wish without disturbing other people. And really importantly I feel safe everywhere I go. I can walk the beach late at night if I wish with or without my wife. And be without fear.

In California it was a little different. One of the windows on our rented apartment was stuck open and my wife did not feel safe. The neighbourhood of Venice Beach does have burglaries and there is a drug problem in the area. So I fixed this to feel secure. We were only minutes from a beautiful beach which we let our daughter go to with a friend she met. After Dark! Only then to be told this is a definite “no no!”

Whilst we were shopping the next day in a beautiful beach clothing shop on Abbot Kinney we both watched two young women stealing the goods openly. We informed the shop owner who could only approach them and ask. They walked out of the shop with over $350 of clothing without paying.

Now! The way I see it is that the Californians have far greater reason to protest for their constitutional rights than the those in Kuwait as to me freedom is about feeling safe, being able to live my life without too many security issues, run a business without someone stealing from me and beign able to do nothing about it unless I hire expensive lawyers, Let my kids out knowing they will come home, sit in a cafe knowing there are no drugs being sold right next to me and so on…..

I like Kuwait for a lot of reasons… Yes, I would love to be able to have a glass of wine with my wife at night but can’t and that is probably the only thing I really miss when we are there together.

I believe right now that the Middle East is in a critical era and one of tremendous opportunity to re write the meaning of democracy in a way that people can truly be free and live morally good lives with strong family bonds that are so weakened in western society. Freedom is not commerce which is what western democracy is about, its just a very tiny part of it…..

Written by markgillett

June 1, 2011 at 8:43 am

4 Responses

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  1. so trueee !!!!! i agree


    June 1, 2011 at 8:58 am

  2. Amazing post Mark, We are in kuwait truly live in a free world.

    Yousef Al Qanai

    June 1, 2011 at 10:01 am

  3. Mark,

    A very good post and I could not agree more with you.

    My view is there are things we could all learn from eachother to make the world a better place.

    I shan’t debate freedom, since none of us are completely free. But I felt happy and free (and safe) in Kuwait. I did not feel safe or free in the US at times. But then at times I do not always feel free or safe in the UK either.

    Family is important, you are right. It is important here and also in Kuwait (probably more so). I’m lucky, I’m considered to be family by some in Kuwait and have family here.

    A very good post Mark, I recall being in Sedona and watching some idiot try to see if there was anything to steal in my open top car – as if I would be so stupid to leave anything in an open top car!


    Ross Leal

    June 3, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    • Thanks Ross.

      Its a tough subject and one that I feel strongly about…..



      June 4, 2011 at 3:29 pm

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