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Social reform, one more time!

Jan 07,2023 - Last updated at Jan 07,2023

It should be stressed anew that, in our pursuit of development and progress, we should take social reform into account, dedicating to it the attention and focus it needs. In our opinion, this is the key factor in the desired leap which we have been hoping to achieve for quite some time.

No one doubts the importance of political, administrative and economic reform, which the country is prioritising at present. Each of these three sectors plays a big role in moving us forward.

The political pertains to the type of governance we desire, at both the national and governorate level; the administrative to the efficiency of managing operations and human resources in the various sectors; and the economic to the quality of life of the Jordanian citizens.

Diligence on all these fronts, and others, is crucial; and the state is to be commended for taking the initiative to come up with concrete plans, and push for their implementation, within these three spheres.

Social reform, however, which is not only complementary but essential, needs much more attention than is given to it at present. To be frank, the societal dimension of reform is almost entirely overlooked, for reasons that one fails to understand.

Society is the stepping stone for any development or progress. Several scholars, in fact, insist that while the leap taken by several developed countries is attributable to a variety of factors, including commerce, industry, science and technology; the primary factor is societal and cultural.

Much of the progress achieved in these countries, they point out, is greatly influenced by values, ethics, sense of responsibility, discipline, loyalty and prioritisation of the common good.

Some even argue that no matter how many ingenious political, administrative, economic and technological plans we put in place, they will not see the light of day if social conditions are not healthy and conducive to change.

One should also add that change is made by politicians, administrators, economists and others; but it is also made by ordinary individuals, by citizens. This essential premise seems to elude many in our part of the world.

It is of utmost importance, then, to take the societal factor into account when thinking of the welfare of the country and its people.

Social reform needs expert and effective action on two main fronts at least, in order to realise the goals we seek:

The first relates to addressing social ills, which are deeply ingrained in the daily behaviour of individuals and groups, such as indifference, carelessness, apathy, hypocrisy, callousness, inefficiency, disrespect of rules and regulations, malice, etc.

All such ills need to be eradicated; at least minimised to a level that ensures little or no damage.

The second pertains to promoting and upholding positive values and good conduct, necessary for our perseverance in our struggle to excel and move forward on so many fronts.

The values include, but are not limited to, sincerity, transparency, self-reliance, quality performance, discipline, respect of law and order, constructive criticism, appreciation of difference; and then innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship, honourable competition, loyalty, etc.

To this noble end, we need a plan, drawn and implemented by experts and pros.

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