A lesson I picked up from Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People is that when people are stressed about something, simply listening to them and trying to see things from their point of view can do wonders even if listening does nothing to remove the direct source of stress.
It looks like King Abdullah is taking this idea a step further. A New York Times article recently reported about “Mubasher FM,” a radio program in Saudi Arabia that allows citizens to publicly air grievances against the government or otherwise. The format is a live call-in show, and citizens who call often find their situations improve. While it is surprising that Saudi Arabia would be willing to run such a program, the article suggests that Abdullah “sees the show as a way of gauging the public mood and of solving problems he would have never known existed.”
Even with all the freedoms and rights we take for granted in this country, there is something to be said for the feeling that one’s problems are considered important by people in power.