DO WE HAVE THE WILL? – By Girma kassa, (muziky68@yahoo.com)

April 8th, 2008 Print Print Email Email

“I am glad they’re interested in something other than their own self-interest and partying”

This was from Donna Wall, a mother and elementary school teacher in North Carolina, USA. She was a supporter of Senator Hillary Clinton. Her 21 years old Obama supporter son’s activism and dedication to bring change impressed her that she switched her allegiance for the coming May primary to Senator Barack Obama. (more…)

“I am glad they’re interested in something other than their own self-interest and partying”

This was from Donna Wall, a mother and elementary school teacher in North Carolina, USA. She was a supporter of Senator Hillary Clinton. Her 21 years old Obama supporter son’s activism and dedication to bring change impressed her that she switched her allegiance for the coming May primary to Senator Barack Obama.

The debate on which presidential candidates to vote for, is not taking place only in the Chris Mathew’s hardball or the O’Reilly factor shows. It is also taking place in the homes of America, between parents and children, siblings and siblings, wives and husbands. It seems Americans are determined to write their own chapters and turn around the fate of their country. The people are saying to the political pundits and lobbyists who have been systematically controlling the politics of the US for decades, “enough is enough”.

In Ethiopia, only few individuals are deciding for more than 70 millions people; few individuals have made Ethiopia landlocked; few individuals are giving lands to foreign countries; few individuals are sending our armed forces to invade a country that has not attacked us; few individuals are shipping the Gold reserves of our country.

We eat when they gave us food. We speak when they gave us permission to speak. We organize ourselves when they permit us. We become rich and financially well when we align ourselves with them. We stay poor and miserable when we oppose them. Businesses, not control by them, are either struggling or falling into bankruptcy when those affiliated with them are prospering. When they are living in mansions taking showers with whiskies, we are being forced to either live in exile or in dire economic conditions begging money, engaged in prostitutions or expecting from Diaspora relatives.

Yes, we get money and financial assistance from the US. However, we can also get a lesson far more important that can affect our country positively and may put us to the position where we do not need the money of westerners anymore. That lesson is the Obama phenomenon we are currently witnessing; a phenomenon that is mobilizing and empowering the people and those who were on the sidelines; a phenomenom that is giving hope to the people and bringing out the best from it, a phenomenon that believes in the people’s power and depend on it.

If we want to, and if we take at heart the lesson from the Americans, we can put an end to the unfortunate scene of Ethiopia.

What is needed first and foremost is the will and desire to make change. The “how” can come later. First we need to clearly and unambiguously answer whether we really and seriously want to have change in our country. Actions and commitments always follow strong wills. Without strong wills and desires, nothing can be accomplished. The degree of our will and desire to see change, determines the degree of our actions. The degree of our actions then determines our successes.

It is time to start asking hard and serious questions first to ourselves. Is the status quo acceptable to us? Are we in good conscious satisfied with what is happening in Ethiopia? Are we “OK” when we have no voices in our country’s affair and when very few decide not only for us but also for our children and our grandchildren?

Then, as the young Obama supporter has engaged his mother, we will take the dialog one step further start discussions in our families, “edders” (small social club), small groups, bars and prayers groups …As Americans are doing in the 2008 presidential election, Ethiopians must start coming together and be seriously engaged. We must start dealing with our own country on our own. It all starts from each one of us.

We must learn to come out from our silence and comfort zone and stand for the right thing, together. To paraphrase Mrs. Donna Wall we must start having interests other than our own self-interests and partying but bringing change so that we can have a new Ethiopia where the law rules, rights of citizens equally respected regardless of age, gender, class, religion and ethnic group.

As the young boy won his mother for his cause, let us bring our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, relatives and friends to the noble cause of moving out Ethiopia from its crippling past and towards the 21st century.

Do we have the Will? If the answer is yes, then there is hope for our country for when each one of us are determined to make a difference in our country, we will surely be not a force but the force even beyond the Ethiopian territory.

Let us put an end to silence and the spirit of despair and defeatism. Let us put an end on expecting solutions from few armed groups here and there or western countries. Let us believe in ourselves. From Dembidollo to Chenakson, from Afabet to Yabello, from the highlands in Northern Shewa to the lowlands in Assaita, from the forest in Bale to the desert in Ogaden we can put an end to the era of bloodshed, division, hate, petit tribalism, lawlessness, dictatorship, corruption and war-mongering and start a new chapter of love, brotherhood, compassion, unity, democracy, good governance and the rule of law. Together we can do it.

[1] http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24003601

Comments are closed.