No Condition is Permanent

July 6 , 2019 . By Teodros Kiros (PhD)

No condition is permanent, including this Ethiopian dark hour. Our dark hours will also be no more.

At this point of uncertainty and fear, it may be tough to think coolly and rationally. It is very easy to get depressed under the gloomy conditions prevailing in the country. What we hear from all corners may be more confusing than enlightening. But we must be careful to reign in our emotions and use our reason.

That is precisely what we must do for the sake of our historic land. This is an ancient land, the first home of the human species. This land has gone through many trials and tribulations.

We have to use our reason to calmly assess the several scenarios that produced the tragedy over our midst.

The regrettable deaths of our heroes:  the extraordinary Ethiopian, General Se'are Mekonnen, respected and loved by all, retired General Gezae Abera; Amachew Mekonnen (PhD), President of the Amhara Regional State and his adviser Ezez Wasse; the region’s attorney-general Migbaru Kebede, and all those unnamed soldiers who are wounded and dead fighting for their country. The list is tragically long and the pain deep and scarring.

Speculations are now permeating the streets of Ethiopian cities and towns as well as the cyber world. There is no shortage of conspiracy theories and guesswork. There are those who accuse neighbouring countries of trying to destabilise the country as revenge for previous leaders.

Some are more ambitious. They think that the tragedy in Bahir Dar, orchestrated under the leadership of Brigadier General Asaminew Tsige, were not merely about overthrowing a regional state, but were aimed at overthrowing the Abiy regime and replacing it with their own. Bahir Dar was a stepping stone. The final destination was the Palace itself.

There are many others. I chose these two as classical speculations. Whatever the reasons are, which will unravel soon, we Ethiopians must remain calm and collected. We have to remain true to our long-held values. Still, and as always loving and gallant, patient and determined to defend our dignity. All those who died are our children, and they must be remembered as such. We must be both strategic and ethical, ready to fight if we must, and willing to forgive and think anew about the future by engaging our moral imagination and our spirituality.

The deaths in Bahir Dar and Addis Abeba belong to us all, and we must grieve collectively and deeply in churches, mosques, homes and workplaces. These tragedies at these dark hours must give us the courage to think in new ways to save our historic nation and safeguard our 'Ethiopanity' and forge a modern Ethiopia on the historical foundations of this identity.

When unreasonableness saturates our existence at this time and logic takes the back seat, we must use our public reason and stand on the firmament in the sky. When baseless speculations fill the air and try to provoke us to anger or  when anger pushes us to celebrate the deaths of our enemies, we must instead feel sorry for the haters by treating them with loving kindness and mourn with them at this dark hour.

Let public reason prevail. This too will pass. This too, like life itself, is impermanent. We have gone through dark days before. We have come through it. And we will do so again.

Let us seek spritual guidance to  give us the patience not to hate, but to love all those who have wronged us and displaced our people. Let us endeavour to bear our sorrow without hating. As Michele Obama famously said, "When they go low, we must go high."

PUBLISHED ON Jul 06,2019 [ VOL 20 , NO 1001]

Teodros Kiros (PhD) is Associate Professor of Liberal Arts at Berklee College.

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