By Geda GudaSept 07, 2012
There were two bad news last month for Ethiopians, the passing of two iconic Ethiopians, the Holy Father Abune Paulo's and the prime minister HE Meles Zenawi. Honestly this is the saddest season for my poor nation and history will mark those days with huge dark spots. I knew that our beloved prime minister would pass before his actual God given day, accepting the existence of Untimely Death, though it is not well resolved in theological arguments.
I had good reason to believe so. He was abusing his flesh with lack of proper rest, sleep, diet, exercise, and probably treatment too. At his first few years in palace, I heard that he was trying to play ground tennis, and later he went wild with his dreams of putting Ethiopia at a spot she had never been, and he did it.
Likewise the great thinkers and scientists of the medieval age, he was completely sunk in to his world of revenging poverty. His excellency himself, mainly his close comrades and his lady wife did mistake for allowing him to work like a machine. Machines owned by greedy capitalists have time for service and repair. Human being shouldn't exert himself to the level where his excellency Meles Zenawi reached. It is simply dangerous for health to put our body in an intensive job for more than 10 hours a day.
Our prime minister according to my limited information was a book worm with high potential of completing his plans, since childhood. From his conversations I learnt hat he is as wise as a philosopher and as simple as a farmer. He had the humbleness of telling his childhood mistakes to the new generation, including how he began smoking. I have good capacity of speech analysis, through experience and exposure, and his excellency Meles Zenawi had never worked or worried to galvanize his speech. He says what he thinks and what he believes. According to human psychology, unprocessed speech is always sweet and beautiful. Because it is simply natural and true. This man was born and raised in the town of Adwa Ethiopia, by his parents. His dad and mom were dreaming to see their intelligent son in a hospital setting, as a Medical Doctor. He was admitted to the right faculty, with distinction. However the then relatively little boy was highly read and conscious about society, and justice. He knew that he should pay sacrifice to radically change the corrupt, and oppressive system. He knew that the change after the revolution against the monarchy in 1974 was superficial. The elite Military officers did not have the quality to answer the deep rooted challenges of the society.
He was admitted to learn medicine and is actual nomination of destiny was to stand up and to speak for the oppressed and the voiceless. His dream was not to examine an illness but to question the reasons for societal decay.
According to the information at hand he was extremely knowledgeable about social change. During his life time in the bush as a guerrilla fighter, he had a chance to read lots of books of communist philosophy. Meles was well informed about the liberal democracy, and he choose to follow the practical customization of thoughts, in relevance to the objective reality. The reason why we call him a pragmatic philosopher of this century is because of this condition. From his public life I understood that he knows very well about different philosophical views and the most impressing principle of this intelligent man was not his endeavor to learn more, it is his commitment to measure every fact against he objective reality, in place. The reason why he was labeled as pragmatist is his firmness to say no for untested theory, and a theory examined in different setting. Meles like all humble intellectuals believes in all categories of dialectical materialism. He believes in the presence of the two antagonistic characters of nature and change comes through the law of negation of negation. That's why he never panics even if his life is in danger. He understands the impartiality between life and death. He knows the possibility of one choice in accordance to the laws of probability. He understands the possibility in the the presence of probability. He believes in phenomena as principle runs on the pattern of essence. He believes in chance as long as necessity is in place. Etc.
The reason why Meles was functioning with great integrity until the day of his disappearance from public eye is based on his factual understanding and strong belief to those natural laws. I don't think he was sick only for the past eight weeks. He was sick since long time, but instead of worrying for his life and taking proper treatment, he was extremely concerned about the ongoing plans, with potential of transforming Ethiopia.
What makes me sick is when some ignorant or partially conscious individuals understand this ultra genius man as a simply smart person only. They don't understand that he was a walking encyclopedia. He was a talking library. He is a type of human character that comes once in a century.
His excellency is the only man in Africa who is recognized by the United States as a man who should be handled with care. He is the only brave man who stood up in defiance of the old and long lived tradition of world bank and IMF. He told them to play the role of a lender only, and not to try to show us how to deal with our problems, in our land. He said " we shape our future, not anybody else". He is the man who said " any agreement that alienated Ethiopia, in the case of Nile is null and void, controversial or not we don't buy it"
Meles talks the talk and walks the walk. First of all he didn't feel that he is that important to his country beyond his non stop effort to make a difference. He never believed his leadership could not be replaced, by others. His knowledge and understanding about the decisiveness of the majority was intact, in his mind and in his heart. He gives credit to people, for all Changes. By his acts he displayed his belief that says "Leader is created by people, no people is created by a leader". This fundamental theory allows wise men and women to avoid the sense of being idolized. That's what his lady wife expressed during the farewell of this great leader. She said " Meles doesn't like to see himself on billboards". Yes indeed, he never wanted to be praised as a special being. He never said " I decide" or "I will do this" or "I will look at it" etc. Alway he was reflecting the belief and decision of his party. He spoke all the time with recognition to his comrades behind the camera, and in conversations he expressed his beliefs and the beliefs of his comrades, in the party. He was a teacher to teach many people to say we instead of I, and for us instead of for me. The testimony of the billionaire Sheik Al Amoudin puts his quality directly. Sheik Al Amoudin said " Meles was my teacher. He taught me to say for us instead of for me.....".
Some people did not fully understand his potential. He was more understood by outsiders than our own people. Of ourselves the majority of Ethiopians are grateful to his services to his country, but I talked to some foreigners and in some instances they make me feel proud by telling the qualities of our leader. They know him as a special and a messenger of our time to transform Africa. Some of them had a belief that he is going to be in the UN when he retires and he will change the way the united nations operate. He was hoped to be seen far at the apex of world politics, unfortunately he lived shorter.
I felt sad and I was mourning for the past few weeks. During this time I was deeply touched by the love and respect of the Ethiopian people towards this smart intelligent thinker and leader of our era.
"Ethiopians are so sweet. I didn't cry like this even during the death of my beloved father. How can millions of people go out to the streets and cry loudly mourning the death of their leader? This is unbelievable. Had it been in other African countries the situation would be completely different. I have never seen such a thing in my life and I don't think I will see it again." Said my colleague Jane, as she learnt that I didn't show up for work, to mourn the death of my leader. So many foreigners have changed their view about my country Ethiopia, by the involvement of HE Meles Zenawi in the stage of world politics and now because of the reaction of the people, to his departure.
Few, very few unremarkable individuals were hoping to destabilize the country, by disseminating bad thoughts, but there is no way to buy such a low class thought, as Ethiopians are more conscious and advanced than their plot.
We will mourn for years, as he is not going to be in his seat, and when we see the hardship to coach someone to fit in to his shoes. But we were always great and we will maintain that greatness, by implementing what Meles drafted, in the past. Finally I'd like to say my beloved prime minister has passed or rested in peace, not died, as dead should be a label for somebody who vanished with out trace, not for Meles. Meles is always alive in spirit.
I express my deepest condolences to his Lady Wife, to his beloved children, and to all Ethiopians.
GEDA Guda from Canada to be continued