So we are officially the most generous country in the world, according to this link. Wow. I shudder at the thought of how 99% of fellow Maltesers will be crowing smugly about it in an annoying show of self-congratulations.
Hell, most of Facebook is already taken up by this same 99% as the link is getting posted and re-posted ad nauseam. Funny how these statistics were released months ago, but they make an appearance only the day after l-Istrina. Well, sorry but I’m not buying it.
It’s true that once a year, on a special occasion such as yesterday’s l-Istrina, most of us might be shamed into parting with the cash. But without removing any of the merits from yesterday’s charitable endeavors (and yes, there was an incredible amount of work and effort by numerous parties to carry the whole thing through: respect to all) I do not find the majority of my co-nationals to be particularly generous or kind throughout the rest of the year, when there are no continuous television adverts to shame them into it.
Actually, scratch that. Many Maltese might be persuaded to be generous with their peers. But certainly not with anyone who is a tad different. And by different I mean gay/of a different religious denomination/of no religious denomination at all/not white (yes, shock and horror I said that) and so forth.
If we are so generous, how come I still see immigrants being looked upon with distaste?
How come the shelter in Marsa, despite all the best efforts of those involved in its daily running, is still a miserable hovel?
How come we still treat gay people like second class citizens when it comes to civil rights?
How come we think nothing of abandoning a pet that no longer pleases us to a cruel fate on the streets – or worse?
How come we still labour under the delusion that fellow roman catholics deserve preferential treatment in all aspects of society?
How come only last week a young woman had to launch an appeal on the media to find a friend because her mental condition led people to shun her?
Yes, we do have our good moments. No, I’m certainly not saying we are a nation of total bastards. But despite how flattering the statistics might look on paper, I have yet to see any real proof that we are anything special.
If you really want to see how kind and generous the Maltese are, read this post about NOT ONE CAR stopping for a crippled kitten stranded on a main thoroughfare. So please, do us all a favor and quit patting yourselves on the back.