You Break Something, You Fix It

Changes are good, they say. It’s been over a month since a politician sparked off what seems like the biggest governmental campaign in the last several years; partly because most of the time they just do nothing. Governmental movements in Vietnam usually have a not-so-surprisingly familiar pattern: they tell that they would do something, they fail miserably (or fail to even try) and they promise to learn from their mistakes next time. You cannot go wrong with that. So why did they put in so much effort this time? What started off as a good individual initiative has turned into a borderline propaganda-reality-show. Media got in and everyone was watching. They suddenly had the chance of a lifetime to improve their public image, which is almost non-existent. But wait, the initiative was good, and they actually put in effort to execute this time. There seems to be nothing wrong with it. But you see, there’s a huge difference between doing things for the sake of doing it and doing things because you actually care. This particular time, I cannot tell which is which. The motive of the action is beyong me to judge, so yeah, we’ll talk about something different: the consequences.

For the sake of this publicity campaign, a huge amount of property have been destroyed. Some obviously deserve it. Most don’t. What seems like a mistake in govermental urban planning has now been transfered to a part of community that has no control over it in the first place. The point is while some may be able to embrace this change (and the cost that comes with it), the most vulnerable part of the community can’t. We are risking putting thounsands of people out of their job, people that are mostly women and elders. You can make a disruptive change, but it does not mean you can just simply get away with it. You break something, you have the responsibility to work it out. I’m not sure how much time they have spent thinking about this. Selling streetfood through Facebook fanpage? That may work for young, sexy hot girls, not for middle-aged women and elders. There must be a way to co-exist together until there’s a better solution, no? Changes take time, at least good changes do. The most important skill these days, in my opinion, is the ability to actually giving a shit about things around you and your action. Have empathy, be kind, ok? There’s no point crying over spilled milk. It’s too late to turn back now, just pray that they might come up with something good.

Harris

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