Lebanon is now going through a dramatic economic crisis and people are worried, struggling and fearing the unknown. Where will this go? How long will it last? Is it going to get worse or better? Well, people can assume and analyze, but nobody knows for sure. There are only 3 things we can be certain of at this point: 1) all Lebanese people are affected by it in one way or another, 2) one cannot be too careful, 3) Sooner or later, it will pass; and until it does, here are some habits will be wise to adopt:
Look for offers, for the best deals and for things that will last you the longest. Make a budget and organize your list of things from the most to the least important. Finally, shop at smaller, local stores.
Work hard on preserving the things you already have so you don’t have to replace them. Also, learn the difference between the things that can be re-used and the things that will end up in the trash can. A metal water bottle, for example, will last so much longer than glass and plastic bottles, so it’s a one time purchase.
No matter how small an amount you put on a regular basis in your bank account or piggy bank (whatever you trust the most), it counts! Don’t use them unless you really need them, and better yet, don’t use them unless it’s the only money you have, then you’ll thank yourself.
If you are used to hiring people to install or fix things, try to ditch that habit for a while. Use your talents and skills, and learn to do some things yourself, of course, if they are not dangerous.
I’m talking about easy and uncomplicated things that don’t always demand professional people, like fixing a chair or a radio or installing a new shelve. In addition, before you throw anything away, think if you can still make something useful out of it. Repurpose!
Your neighbors are the closest people to you besides your family or roommates. Now with some things cut out from the market, your neighbors might have stocks of them. Or with the recent fuel crisis, you might someday need a ride. Befriending the people who are door to door with you will give you a feeling of security.
Make it a habit to divide your wants and your needs. Now, that doesn’t mean that you should completely deprive yourself of the things you desire, but keep in mind that these are exceptional times and you’ll have plenty of time to spoil yourself once it is all done and solved.
This is the most important one. The thing about Lebanese people is that they have a little bit too much dignity and pride, so most people in need won’t ask you for help. However, if you do notice that someone close to you, or even a nice stranger, is struggling, don’t hesitate to lend a helping hand in any way you can. Who knows, you might save a life.
As it was previously said, know that this period will pass. This time is difficult indeed but create some distractions for yourself and the people around you from time to time. Spend quality time with your family, go for a walk with your friends, watch a TV movie, or share a hilarious joke with one of your friends.
Some jobs and fields may be dead right now. You might not have enough clients or you might be low on materials but this doesn’t mean you should give up. Milk it, repurpose it, and make some money out of it because every penny can come in handy.
In the middle of any crisis, there are always some people who become so desperate that they choose a wrong and illegal path. That’s why actions of theft increased lately, so there’s not such a thing as being too safe. Protect yourself, your family and your belongings.
Spare yourself the costs of fuel and maintenance, and the stress of the fuel crisis. There is no shame in commuting with bikes. Citizens of all advanced European countries use bikes to commute, even the top professionals. Do some calculations on how much you spend monthly for the use and upkeep of your car, and spare that budget until the crisis is over.
Most importantly at this point is to never lose hope. There are hundreds and thousands of people who have been on the street for over a month fighting bravely and tirelessly. If you don’t have faith in the country or the government, have at least faith in them.
We have witnessed Lebanese people, mainly fathers who are the providers for their families lose hope and it is absolutely heartbreaking. This period is hard for the majority of the Lebanese in the country but some have it worse than others.
Keep an eye out, help when you can. And, if you need help, know that it’s okay to ask. We have united on the streets, let’s also unite in our needs and help each other out. We will prevail. Lebanon always does.