Life is Short, Be Good

Jun 29 , 2019
By Eden Sahle

At times life is terrifying and volatile. The fact that we cannot be prepared for the things life tosses at us suddenly is frightening. Losing week has been one of the most horrific and heart-breaking periods of my life. I lost a great friend at a very young age while at the same time hearing about the reported deaths of the officials and military officers made me stagger beyond description.

It is hard to imagine what the families of those who left us must be going through now. No matter how strong we are, it is hard to be ready for tragedy. We all know it is never easy to deal with the loss of a loved one, especially when it happens unexpectedly. Death is cruel. My friend's wife and family and the families of those who have been serving the country in different posts have to live with the agony of incredulity by trying to adapt to life without their loved ones.

Even when we do not realise it, our lives are in constant change. I wonder if we would live any better if we knew when our time of departure from this world is. I wonder if we would be compassionate to everyone and live purposefully. Death is something so many people overlook until it comes. Most people are convinced that they have longer others, believing that they are entitled to it.

Most people think they are more human as if they can live forever with the things they do. I believe all the bad stuff going on in this world mostly has to do with people ignoring the fact that they will die.

We should all understand that we are all mortals. That should lead us to try to make the most out of life doing good things. Perhaps thinking about death often might increase our determination to be good people and kind to others. Accepting our mortal identity might help us to understand the true meaning of life by without trying to be anything else other than what we were created to be. One does not need to be a genius to understand the importance of taking responsibility in everything we do.

We need to activate our natural ability to be ultimately, bluntly honest with ourselves and lead a meaningful life. To have a great life, so that when we look back, we will be happy and have little regret. Living in such a way that others look back at our life and find something they will appreciate about us. This is the real meaning of life.

Our comfort in life should be the good things we do for ourselves, others and our country. The bad things we do will never make us happy. Our culture has obsessively focused on utter selfishness and taking advantage of others. Our major problem is the attitude of being self-centered: the belief that says one should be perfect, more admired, an all-time leader, smarter, faster, more prosperous, healthier, the best, better than the rest.

However, when we become rational and think about life, all the selfishness and hostile stuff we hear about all the time fixates on what is unjust. Most spend their valuable time perfecting ways to hurt others, the vehement way to accumulate wealth, because they think it will make them better than others. Such distorted and ludicrous life visualization is the evil we need to fight within ourselves.

Fascination of what is evil is not just dangerous to others but to those who practice it as well. We, humans, are capable of almost anything. The killers, the rapists, the corrupt are just reflections of human evil and what we are capable of if we lead our lives in the wrong direction. Thus, we should always be cautious about our thinking and actions to remind ourselves over and over again which path is right.

Every evil starts in the mind. It begins with the thoughts only we can see and evaluate before others do. There is a danger that if we let evil thoughts sink in, they can drive us to actions we wouldn't normally do. We must all be compelled to recite what is relevant and beneficial to our thinking, because from our mind flows our good or evil deeds.

Everything we hear in this world is telling us the path to a fulfilling life is to have more, to take advantage of others and do whatever needs to be done to have more of everything. While there is nothing wrong about having more things, how we get it is very important.

It seems like more and more people have become numb about humanity, justice, responsibility and compassion to others.

The solution to our problems is right there in front of us. We should think outside of the box and not become victims of our mindset. As Ethiopians, our problems are not just material but spiritual. We have the potential and the opportunity to be great individuals and societies if we let our good character kick in.

There is a saying in Ethiopia that being kind never harmed anyone. It is best to keep to the principle "do not do what we do not want to be done to us." Life is as great as we make it. Good character and a meaningful life often occur together. At least my friend had been a real-life portrait of this. His life might have been very short, but it was purpose-driven and spiritual as well as kind. To those of us who had the privilege of knowing him, losing him breaks our hearts but also teaches us that it is not how long we live, but how we live purposefully that matters the most.

PUBLISHED ON Jun 29,2019 [ VOL 20 , NO 1000]

Eden Sahle is founder and CEO of Yada Technology Plc. She has studied law with a focus on international economic law. She can be reached at

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