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Discharging collective responsibility

Discharging collective responsibility

The destiny of a nation is the concern of its entire people, not just a select few. This is why all citizens have a collective responsibility towards ensuring the survival of their country. Responsible citizens always put their country at the forefront. Hence, it is incumbent on each and every Ethiopian who believes he is invested in the welfare of his nation to thwart the irresponsible actions of self-centered, intolerant and un-Ethiopian elements bent onweakening the strong bond that has kept the people together. Though freedom is a notion that necessarily entails moral responsibility, those who have foisted themselves on the nation and its peoplemust be brought to heel. The civility and farsightedness that characterizes Ethiopians need to be cherished no matter what. All citizens who genuinely love their country have a shared responsibility in defending these values.

Ethiopia was able to repulse aggressors throughout its history primarily owing to the unrivaled sacrifice its people paid. It became a beacon of hope not only for Africans, but also black people all over the world because its people had an undying love for it. The unity of this great nation must be preserved by sons and daughters who are committed to emulating the feats of their forefathers. The proud and heroic people of Ethiopia co-existed peacefully for centuries despite ethnic, religious, cultural and political differences as a result of the enduring bond they forged. They have never allowed the rule of tyrants to compromise the national interest. This serves as an important display of collective responsibility for the present generation and as such must be strengthened further.

The social media has become the favorite platform where anti-Ethiopia rhetoric finds voice. Driven by a deep-seated desire to unravel the tie that binds Ethiopians together, some reckless compatriots peddle sectarian sentiments intended to incite the youth to violence, frustrate the general public and generally bring about a breakdown of law and order. The proliferation of forces that have no qualms about undermining institutions and individuals in a country which is home to a people who embody solidarity and tolerance is a cause for concern. Sowing the seeds of confusion is emblematic of people opposed in principle to the exercise of freedom of thought and expression. The use of coarse language and baseless rumors as a means to advance nefarious motives is an act that will be judged harshly by history. All sensible citizens owe a collective responsibility to curb such misdeeds.

Ethiopia stands to benefit immensely if its youth are to turn into a generation steeped in learning and morals. Education without wisdom is worthless. The youth can be equipped with the knowledge that enables them to have a well-rounded view of the world insofar as the government and society discharge their collective responsibility. Nowadays a significant number of the youth have lost all hope and resorted to social vices owing to the failure of parents and the government to do their share. The youth are apt to take up violencewhen they are politically and economically disenfranchised as a result of, among others, violation of fundamental human and democratic rights and lack of employment opportunities. This calls for a concerted action on the part of the relevant government authorities and citizens who feel they have a stake in the fate of the nation.

Collective responsibility is principally about ensuring national security. A nation can be peaceful and stable to the extent that the public is able to, among others, enjoy the protection of basic liberties, ascertain the prevalence of the rule of law, participate fully in development endeavors, contribute what the country expects of it, and lead a life of freedom and equality. Individuals and groups that have put themselves above the law and are incapable of thinking beyond their selfish needs are nothing but a cancer on society and the nation. Their attitude is completely out of step with the times. However much they harken back to the “good times”, they have to accept that change is inevitable and keep pace with contemporary thinking. As such it is imperative that they implement the change in a manner that benefits the country and its people instead of standing in its way or utilizing it as a means to settle scores. It’s for this reason as well that we all bear a collective responsibility.

Presently what is desperately needed in Ethiopia is the forging of multiethnic unity through a truly inclusive political discourse. The proud and wise people of Ethiopia have a close kinship and a similar psyche; they have never let dissimilarities escalate to disunity. It’s absolutely disgraceful then to see such an exemplary people still live in abject poverty and unremitting efforts to sow dissension among them by spewing vitriolic ethnocentric rhetoric. In particular the intelligentsia’s utter intolerance for differing views and engagement in a politics of vendetta harks back to an era long bygone and is unhelpful in taking the democratization process in Ethiopia a step further. Rather they should give the public the respect it deserves and take it up on themselves to desist from a playing a zero-sum game in recognition of the fact that the peoples of Ethiopia are the ultimate repositories of political power. This makes it all the more urgent for Ethiopians from all walks of life to faithfully discharge their collective responsibility.