Who said a picture is worth a thousand words?

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At times, a picture does not only worth a thousand words; it is worth more than that.  What you see is not even a picture of million words, but it is a depiction of million lives of life and love in Ethiopia.


Words may compose what you see.  But this is not what you see often that words alone can express in precise terms of life and love; it is beyond that. This is mother Ethiopia, caressing her child—you and I— with love that no million words compose to express it fully and clearly.


This is mother Ethiopia, conjuring images and sensations with million words you know and million words you do not know.  Love; affection; fondness; infatuation; devotion; passion; ardor; fire; zeal; commitment; obligation; duty; responsibility; sacrifice…and etc. 


Take a good look at mother Ethiopia.  What do you see and how do you feel? Do you see a picture of million words or, a depiction of million lives of life and love in Ethiopia?  Do you have tears of joy in your eyes, seeing how pristine the love of mother Ethiopia is? Or, do you regret having born from a poverty-stricken mother? 

Did you ever have a mother unlike what you see in this picture; in essence and in spirit?  No matter how you answer this question, were you at all ashamed of your mother then? Or, are you ashamed of her now more so than you were then?  Why and why not?  What do you wish happen to your mother? 


I am sure you want her to live; right?  And I am sure you do not wish her a doomsday; do you?  If you do, I can assure you that you are blind in essence and in spirit and cannot see this depiction of million lives of life and love in Ethiopia.  You only feel hate.  Why do you hate your own mother? 


I know why you hate your mother, and to put it mildly, it is because that you do not see mother Ethiopia, caressing you with love that no million words compose to express it in precise terms of life and love.   Your hostility to your own mother is expressed in a strange picture of million words, and, it is unlike the depiction of mother Ethiopia that we see here.  It is something else; and it is not about love and caring but about politics of hate.  You should have known by now; politics of hate bruises mother Ethiopia and magnifies her old wounds. 


Do what you wish, and we will do what we were responsibly raised to do.  We will help heal the bruised, bloody, and elegant fingers of our mother.  After all, these are the same fingers that hold you and us for the only comfort that we could have had then. And this is our mother that we want to give our lives for the life and love that she gave us; with or without you.


By Adal Isaw


April 18, 2013