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Adal Isaw

         November 28, 2010

Often, nothing gives me the life to live more so than hearing my daughter calls me “daddy.”  It’s just pristine, and I admit that I’m one phrase short for now to explain what exactly it’s in English.  Remember, whenever one is faced to pledge for the kinds of affinity that he/she has with his/her child and country as well, a good reflecting phrase lives only on words from a mother tongue.  Notwithstanding the eccentricity of some at the peripheral level of human passion, the truth about the feeling that lives in me to live by hearing my daughter utter the word “daddy,” should always hold true for all of humanity.  That is; the reason that gives me the life to live neither has a quantifiable degree of a passion nor it is any different a pledge in contrast to pledges by all mothers and fathers—whose very life to live is handed to them by words of their own children and their country as well.  This is a mother-child, a father-child and also a citizen-country experience, for which words of even one’s own mother tongue can oddly fall short to describe exactly what it is.  Bear with me; I will explain.  It’s about your child; my child; your country; my country; our country and the extent to which we should strive to give our Ethiopia a better life to live.

Less than a decade ago, I drove to a hospital about 20 miles away from where I live to congratulate a best friend and his wife—welcoming their daughter to a life in the open.  Curious me and hoping to get a precise answer from a witty best friend, I asked, how does it feel to be a father?  My friend replied, “I have no words; Adal, you just have to experience it.”  I knew then that the affinity with your child and your country as well may not be that easy to describe even in words of your own mother tongue.  Your affinity with your child and your country conjures images and sensations with words you know and words you don’t.  Love; affection; fondness; infatuation; devotion; passion; ardor; fire; zeal; commitment; obligation; duty; responsibility and sacrifice. 

We the beneficiaries of the great sacrifice that recreated Ethiopia into what it’s today should know this: The sacrifice paid by our martyrs is a promise to be revered and a duty to be vigilant for perpetually.  Our great many martyrs never made it to have their own family per se; Dilie didn’t make it to live and experience what it feels to be a mother.  Kobelew didn’t make it to live and experience what it feels to be a father.  But they both lived and labored hard to give birth to a new child that we call Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.  Yes; the new Ethiopia is now the child that we have adopted from our martyrs—with adamantine promise and a commitment to raise it with care, compassion, and love that we normally set aside for our own children.  This is what you should sacrifice to let your country live a better life.  You should think of Ethiopia as your own child that you have the full responsibility of raising beyond the five years plan and set yourself to clean and cleanse its dirt, to keep it healthy, young and vibrant for the rest of time.   And in contrast to what our martyrs paid, this simply is a privilege to seek for and not at all a sacrifice to forgo. 

Of course, many have sought the privilege to sacrifice something very personal and familial in order to give Ethiopia a better life to live.  I know a comrade who continued his arduous one-man revolutionary work even when his child was under a serious life threatening emergency.  There is another who stood and walked strut unflinchingly, even after the proclamation of a threat to harm her lovely family became a public knowledge.  I also know another comrade who gives his time by borrowing some of it from his own son with special need—to care for his people and country.  I know many comrades who have made it a habit to care for their country and people, without even realizing how secondary a “quality time” with their children has become.  There should be a reason for this.  I am convinced that these comrades with children clearly understand how much is paid by our martyrs and ask not what they get from what is being achieved, but would like to contribute anyways without any string attached—neither to support their own personal aspirations in life nor to satiate the immediate need of their own children.  These comrades know that our martyrs went homeless, hungry, thirsty, and lived itching day and night on an empty stomach till they gasped their last air, caring for our own common child—Ethiopia.  

The child of our martyrs that we have adopted is now full of promise.  It’s a child running on strong legs, and almost in a waitress like service, this child is now providing opportunities to make life easier for all of us.  This child is a rising star, shinning brighter by the day, and sadly, some of its best caretakers are few in number and the struggle to keep them from becoming the endangered species should continue.  We should struggle against those among us who will sacrifice nothing to give Ethiopia a better life, but sacrifice Ethiopia anytime to enhance their own life.  If what we have set for the coming five years and beyond is to be successful, we should all sacrifice something personal and familial and learn to live to be served as little as possible.  What would you sacrifice to give Ethiopia a better life to live?