Although there are many reasons we should believe that Iranians are very bright, intelligent, and ambitious people as individuals, but based on my limited observation and in contrast to my usual way of thinking I respectfully have to admit that most of us are socially stupid.
Forgive me! I try hard not to generalize since it is the generalization that is the root cause of our social stupidity. To know how I have reached to this conclusion I should go back and give you some background materials. In addition, I am sure we can find the same or worst symptoms among other nationalities and ethnic groups but neither it is my business or my interest to be worried about them.
Let’s get into a typical Iranian’s mind. It doesn’t matter how sloppy an Iranian is on outside, inside of his/her mind things are as clean as compartments in an operation room, as organized as a public library shelves, or as sanitized as a manufacturing floor of a pharmaceutical factory. In Iranian mind, things have their own places. Everything is arranged in the shelves and packed in the nice boxes. We don’t like the clutters in our mind to linger around, the things that are not attached to something or not labeled right. We get nervous when we see an “unidentified sitting object” is hanging in the middle of our mind.
That is why the first thing we want to know about people is their names. What‘s you name? Jon? He must be a f**king Jew. You said Seyyed, He is a bastard Arab. You don’t need to work for Iranian intelligent services to know about any ordinary Iranian anywhere in the world. You just have to give a call to your relatives in Iran and give the prospective person’s name then within 48 hours you will most likely be able to draw that person’s family tree with closed eyes.
However, if god forbids, for any reason we can't get to the name of that person, we could not sleep through the night and stand still during the day until we connect that person to something. The first thing that comes to our mind is to look at or read about him/her. If he in his writings mentions Soviet he is a communist, if she mentions the Shah, she is definitely a monarchist. Talking smoothly makes you a homosexual otherwise a Hezbollahi, where talking rough makes you a Laat.
Ironically, one's nickname is as important as his/her real name,sometimes it works even better. Perhaps her dad called her Shirin to force her to become a sweet person but now as an adult she can choose a more appropriate online nickname such as “Ghamar Soltan” maybe to emphasize more on her big boobs.
Are we done yet? Definitely not! As soon as we feel comfortable that a name or label fits almost someone we get ready to shelve them. We literary bend their knees, and fold their arms then squeeze and shove them into a small shelf under the title such as “NY Taxi Driver/ Iranian Colonel”, “Dehati Scientist in Silicon Valley”, “Confused and Horney Reformist”, “Fat Sadegh Hedayat”, “Single Jeeshoo”, “See it but don’t touch it”, “Touch it but don’t taste it”, “Taste it but don’t swallow it” and so on.
You might assume that this is the end of the story but it is not. As we grow older or add to our education or raise our social status we add more shelves and more titles to our collections however one thing stays always consistent. Once someone in an Iranian mind is shelved under one label he/she will be never reshelved under another label no matter how hard the subject tries to change his/her shelving status.
All of these contributes to the fact that’s why conspiracy theories are so popular among us and nevertheless almost all discussions around Iranian politics end in a conspiracy theory of one kind or another. Even though I found this quiet amusing seeing ordinary people in the midst of a hot debate based on sheer fictional stories, though, it is depressing to see our educated and experienced ones are not sometimes any different. Or perhaps it is the excessive emotion that shuts down our logic and common sense sometimes and makes us to carelessly call each other names.
I believe there is nothing that can’t be changed in human being. It has been never late and it will never be to have, see or cause changes. I know one thing that if there is an intelligent supreme being exists, he or she is the ultimate judge of what we’ve done not any other human being who is not any better than any of us. Consequently, as long as we live we change so we won’t fit in each other’s little boxes or can’t stay on the same shelf forever.
Maybe some of us don’t see the need of kissing each other’s asses since we are not as connected as we used to be. As a matter of fact we need each other more than ever. The surrounding environment embracing Iranians has becoming increasingly hostile and there is no sign of ease on the horizon either. Iranian.com, the all Iranian on-line magazine is one of the few things that connects us everyday. It is our virtual Café Naderi. It is our legacy we leave for our kids. It is our free visit to a psychological therapy session everyday. It is our adventure land to set our passion free. It is where we cry together and laugh together. Let’s not take it for granted and appreciate it by not labeling each other and degrade one another. However never be too shy to disagree and let’s teach our kids to be that way.
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