By Lij Teodrose Fikremariam
Source: Ghion Journal
My father used to always respond with this one rejoinder during my youth every time I came home and complained about some injustice that I felt was done against me. So what? In ways I did not have the wisdom to understand, my dad was preparing me for a life that is often unfair but one that is nonetheless blessed if only we don’t turn to complaints and bitterness.
I’ve written on many occasions about the array of nefarious forces, both external and internal, that have vested interest in our demise and the fracturing of our birth land. But I’ve come to the realization that focusing on what is holding us back is only preventing us from moving forward as a people. The truth is, no matter how many obstacles are put before us, if we got our acts together and stopped working against one another, no weapon formed against us could prosper.
Sadly, we are choosing the alternative as more and more people are wallowing in grievance. A land of more than 110 million people is being reduced into a wasteland of tribalism because we would rather seek individual victories instead of ensuring collective wellness. Separation is the snake oil that is peddled by Satan; the same way Adam and Eve were tempted to defy God through their ego, Ethiopia is being seduced by the toxic elixir of ethnocentric selfishness that comes at the cost of community, nationality and humanity.
We have all the ingredients to prosper on a global scale, God has blessed us with an abundance of natural resources and a deep reservoir of intellectual capital. If we somehow marshaled the will as a nation to get over our differences and started working together for the common good, Ethiopia’s potential is limitless. Given this opportunity, leaders and the led alike are opting for short term benefits and forgoing long term success.
I have noted a particular pattern over my years, we are a society of 95/5. Though this is not a scientific poll, more of a general observation, what I know about our community is that 95% are detached or too busy with the stresses of day to day living to think about transforming society and 5% are motivated to deliver change. Within this 5% reside idealists who yearn to make a difference for our country and work diligently towards that end. In time, the perceived apathy or active malice of the some quarters within the 95% eventually grinds…