GUIDE FOR THE LOST CITIZEN!
10 rules toward civil society in Bulgaria
Here are 10 simple rules! Follow them, even if no one else around you would do so. Re-read them regularly! Civil society in Bulgaria has no other chance:
- Read, travel, observe and grow!
- Take responsibility! Keep ethics and follow it!
- No hatred and violence!
- Boycott COMPANIES, but always vote during elections!
- Unite in civic groups and support fair causes!
- Care to hear the opposite opinion, persuade with arguments, not with force.
- Preserve the Bulgarian nature and protect it from harm!
- Help and thank always when you have been helped!
- Win your small civil victories!
- Forward these messages!
1. Read, travel, observe and grow! Be literate and give time to search for information on everything around you, stop following only the major news channels mainstream newspapers - these are manipulated media offering manipulative information. There are now the Internet and books. Read analysis on the events around you and compare the important information in several sources. Long working hours and low wages are no reason to give up seeking the truth or to give up developing yourself. Use places like public transport and the time in the bathroom to read. And, for God's sake, stop wasting your time with any vomit television, reality shows and witless series - they are there to vapourise your last drop of brains left. Read even if you are a skeptic! Think globally - what is happening around the world affects you as much as what happens here.
2. Take responsibility! Keep ethics and follow it! Never compromise your morals and do not tolerate disregard of morality by others. There is no lasting success in society that has no moral stand. Today you do bad to someone and tomorrow it will be your turn - it's a vicious circle and you should be the first who volunteers to leave it. Develop value system and read - law, philosophy, sociology, economics. Without complaining that this is complicated for you and it's not your thing.
3. No hatred and violence! Neither fascist dictatorships or communism have created something lasting with violence. Their successes were only temporary and their collapse has lead to even more severe crisis for society. You hardly want to see the slaughter of people near you, regardless of their origin and whether they are Turks, Gypsies or Bulgarians - if you have a problem with a person or group, look for ways to help their development, to assist them get to where you in your understandings. Hatred is something to which we are deliberately tossed and more citizens in our country fall into that trap. And don't enjoy the local skinheads, managed to keep the neighborhood cleansed of minority groups for a long time - it worked only because there was no country that can do the job when there is a crime and someone was allowed to assign the functions of the State - local skinheads to deepen the hatred of minorities with their behaviour, and when that hatred proves convenient trigger of a handful of people at the top, they will do so and there will be nobody to protect you. The way out is to seek common ground with everyone and not to put people under a common denominator. Only that way we can defuse in time the ticking bombs in our society!
4. Realize your power of consumer and voter! Boycott COMPANIES and attract others to join the boycott. Don't give up the boycott if the rest did not follow! - Do not give money to the mafia business - stop going in the shops and restaurants - if you know that in something have been poured suspicious money and you have the choice not to pour your own, do not do it - do not walk in bars and discos of gangsters, do not buy goods from them, always be interested who is behind any business in which you leave your money. Do not use their banks! Buy from the little shop, small pharmacy, small stall, stay in small hotels and have a meal in a small family restaurant - they usually some of these always nearby. Just what you cannot find there, go and buy in hypermarkets or large chain. Advise the owners of these small businesses how to improve their service.
Election may not vote on personalities, but this is not a reason to not vote at all - dig into the programs of each party (hopefully all have programs), talk with friends, and even to not so close of friends and exchange opinions about the parties and the candidates. Provoke family to think and care! ALWAYS vote in elections! Elections are never to be boycotted. Do not run away from politics because this is what the bad guys want you to do – to be a sheep, to think that politics is a dirty thing, and anyone who touches it is corrupt. You have to starts scrutinizing the track of those who you vote for and the ones chosen by the others. Insist to meet with them and shame them publicly, if necessary.
5. Unite in civic groups, support fair causes and create a business based morality and connected with other businesses based on moral values: Establish NGOs - together is better than alone, but still check around about the people with whom you plan to work - trust is an important thing and although you must be open to all, always keep in mind that this may not be the policy of the opposite side. And if you have a business which only withstand the pressure of big Mafia money, it's time to find other small businesses around you in the same situation and begin to circulate the few financial resources at your disposal. Sounds like the way mafia does is, what do you think? - Well, let's beat them with their own weapons! Everything is in order unless you begin to corrupt public officials to bribe politicians and policemen. Unite to protect you own interest and always be anxious to give the best to your customers no matter what it may cost you.
6. Care to hear the opposite view and listen patiently! Persuade with arguments, not by force! Learn how to argument yourself! No matter how right you are there is and always will be another points of view – and you may no longer have the same position, after you hear it.
7. Preserve Bulgarian nature and protect it from harm! It is not enough if you just don't litter on the street or you throw away your garbage where you should - thanks for that, but still - this is as a passive position as everything else I talk about here. Bulgaria requires active people. Push the people at the municipality, push the ministers to do their job, do not remain blind to the violations and violators. Intervene, when it is relatively safe for you! Well, there is never complete security, so earn your own self-respect and at least once proceed valiantly and with courage, taking risks! Think globally and act locally - the planet is a living organism, and everything that happens at the other end of the world affects you - no limits for dirty air, poisoned water and destruction - it is therefore your right to demand responsibility from your own and foreign countries.
8. Help others when you are being asked, don't be ashamed to ask for help, expreсs gratitude whenever you get it and don't get angry when you are denied. Remember to only help out when your strong enough for that! Know your capability - do not jump to help out, if you yourself are in deadlock and difficulty – you may harm both yourself and the one you help.
9. Win your small civil victories! Be active citizen and don't stop your children from being active and defend their rights. There's no worse role model in life for your child than to tell the kid that by fairness he or she will not achieve anything and that should not be in the forefront when it comes to fighting for a cause. Keep your cause, even if you think you're the only one fighting for it - from the small flower or tree garden to front of your multifamily building that you keep or when you fight because you have been asked illegally to pay money for medical treatment - do not give up at the first closed door in front of your eyes – promise yourself to deal with it until resolved and flip the world until you settle things back to good - even if it cost you years and countless hours. Be inspired! Prove that you have more strength than the stunted idols against which you are facing. You will see that with persistence at the end you will no longer be alone. Apathy is the atrophy of civil society - so do not give up, train the muscles of your citizenship and find a way to reach your small victories to gain courage then to change the whole world, but also to have gained strength, experience and knowledge, to know laws, you have faced and observed the bottleneck but also the shortcuts rather than indefinitely to qualify everything as rotten and hopeless.
10. And last, please, forward these messages! Forward it all to your children and to all children, young and elder people you meet and talk to! And do not be offended that not everyone will follow at this point.
You are still alone, but fight and you won't be alone much longer!