“...It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness...” Eleanor Roosevelt
"...I am a citizen of humanity ..." Montesquieu
“... humanity comes before ethnicity ... no one is free until all are free...” Obang Metho
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Ethiopianism - Part III
My attempt to untie the knots that are looped around the myths and commonly accepted definitions of what truly means to be an Ethiopian led me to embark in to a whole new avenue. To my amazement most of the ‘thinking points’ I brought up in my last two writings, Ethiopianism Part I and Part II, and the many other questions that are lingering in my mind seem to take a whole new dimension in this outlook I have been meditating.
This outlook is the best way (if not the only way) to make sense of what Ethiopianism is all about; it states being a real Ethiopian comes after holding a solid grip of being a human being. First and foremost, I was born a human being. Then by sheer luck or heavenly design I am of Ethiopian origin – a person that has a strong tie to the land and its ancestral positioning.
Many, leaders and writers, echoed the notion of “... humanity before ethnicity and everything else...” And a message of acceptance and reconciliation at the very root of humanity resonates with me very well (including the convincing messages of Obang Metho).
This outlook helps explain how some traits are inherent and others voluntarily adapted. Traits like; being born black, from Amharic and Oromigna speaking Christian family and being born in Addis were endowed to me and I had no saying towards them. Understanding how some of these inherent behaviors (language, religion and tribal/ethnic affiliation) are common to all humanity enables me to embrace every person with respect and compassion.
Hence, it is the foundation block to establishing a harmonious society that values humanity and human dignity above all else (like ethnicity, language, village, religion and even political party). As professor Al-Mariam noted “...“humunity” and “younity”... is unity based not on ethnicity or nationality but on the core universal values of human dignity...”
When we uphold humanity above all else, we will make room to accept our fellow men and women despite their uniqueness. There will be no room for bigotry, tribal bias and looking down on others. Jesse Jackson once said “...Don’t look down on people unless you want to help them up...”
We will choose to do away with narrow and localized tribal mindset. We will do away with an exaggerated pride in the past and willing engaged to create the new Ethiopian; that is rooted in mutually agreed on common vision, the new Ethiopia where every citizen feels free and safe to experience his/her basic human right (the right to exist as a dignified human being).
A vision that is committed to building the “New Ethiopia” where humanity thrives is a vision strong enough to make me and my seed live and die for!!!
Pazion - 2011