New Year 2010 Greetings to my Ethiopian
Brothers and Sisters…
By Prof. Efraim Isaac
Dec. 28 2009
To my Fellow Ethiopians at home and abroad: Happy Ethiopian Christmas, and Temqat, and a Blessed and prosperous European New Year! I send this respectful and kind letter of appeal to you, my brothers and sisters: educated Ethiopian political, religious, educational, business, and intellectual leaders.
Ninety-nine percent of the Ethiopian people, Christians, Moslems, Jews, Traditionalists, Oromos, Amhara, Tigre, Gurage, Somali, Walayta, Hadya, Kaffa, Afar, Nuer, Anuak, and other beloved nationals, are deeply spiritual and ethical peoples. We also all have the same DNA – one family even if different language. Our people love and respect human beings.
Why can we, the about one-percent educated Ethiopians, not learn from them? Why are we stuck on the philosophical values of Machiavelli, Hobbes, and Marx? Why not respect and uphold the teachings of peace and reconciliation of our own wise teachers like, Zar'a Ya'aqob, Kristos Samra, Abba Gedas, and others? When are we going to wake up and see that tens of millions of our babies are crying for milk, tens of millions of our old people are yearning to go to bed in peace and wake up in peace, and tens of millions of our young people are thirsting for knowledge and learning?
Ethiopia is lucky to have us, her about 1% western educated children. It is also very gratifying to see so many successful Ethiopians in education, technology, business, law, and other important professions. I am very proud of my fellow educated Ethiopians. I wish everyone more success and strength during this coming year.
Brothers and Sisters: In spite of our impressive achievements, it cannot be denied that some of us educated Ethiopians have also squandered our energy on philosophizing politics and promoting group hate.
I have witnessed Ethiopians who have given so much for their country. Yet, I have also witnessed for almost forty years varieties of inter-group hate-badmouthing and quarrel, fighting and killing. I have seen how a good deal of our energy has been wasted for over half a century on verbal or armed power struggle. But we have gotten nowhere!
As your older brother, almost fifty years ago I started preaching mutual love and respect, commitment to each other, and promoting education and development. Please forgive me if I must repeat it again. Everything in this life requires commitment and action – thinking far, making a firm decision to act, making every effort to realize our decisions, and acting in good faith.
Can we decide this year to forgo negativity and change our thought and actions to positive energy? Can we, with all our hearts and all our minds decide to stop inter-group conflicts and fighting? I appeal especially to our political and religious leaders to set the example of mutual respect and love to all our educated people. Can we stop bad-mouthing each other? Can we stop the killings? We have it in one of our traditional songs:
“How are you?’ ‘How do you do?’ can’t we greet each other? One sometimes reconciles even with his father’s killer…”
For the sake of our poor, sick, and illiterate, I respectfully ask each and every Ethiopian, especially our political and religious leaders, to set an example of mutual respect and love. Yes, let us continue to buy guns and artilleries. Let us continue to shoot them at each other. But when we shoot, let milk pour out of our guns to feed the babies and grains out of our artilleries to feed the hungry. Yes, let us continue to open our mouths and write with our pens opposite each other. But let beautiful words of love and respect come out of our mouths and words of love out of out pens!
With love and respect,
Your older brother,
This message is also for my Eritrean brothers and sisters.