“Dichotomy” of my Feeling
April 12, 2011
In the history of my young and adult age till a decade a go, there was no room for Diaspora life in my mind. I had some opportunities to travel to the west for academic reasons. The temptation to stay away was almost nil regardless of the everyday struggle to keep life going and achieve some modest personal ambitions at home. It was not because hope was on the scene in Ethiopia, but the alternative was unacceptable. Looking back, the situation at home was increasingly frustrating. There were times when I doubted the presence of a government that made sense of the public cry for justice, economic betterment and social welfare. It was too remote to see the light of hope. The bureaucracy at various levels was either inexperienced or incapable. Vision and mission of most of the government institutions was diverted into establishing political cells to cultivate support for the governing party. The distrust to professionals who were not willing to enroll as party members was excruciating. The future appeared scary and unpredictable. To add pain to the wound, the split within TPLF disclosed the mistrust within and the lack of a clear development strategy for the nation. The sequel was to end up in Diaspora to nurture a lost hope.
Here is the dichotomy. Now, my country Ethiopia has a clear development strategy already fruiting to lift her to the middle income statue. I feel glad and sad. I am glad for obvious reasons. Truth to be told, think of the roads, the clinics and clinicians, the universities, the schools and students, agricultural technologies, housing services, export expansion, the human capital, and annual growth we have now. So why feel bad? I feel bad because I am not at home to contribute to it; to see it; to do it; to feel it; to change it; to nurture it; to input to it; to cultivate it; you name it. What I see and hear about my homeland is exhilarating, but sometimes signaling personal outrage for not being a part! This is not about a race, it is about people; it is not about party, it is about country. The massive joy and commitment shared by the men and women of our citizens inside and outside Ethiopia this week with the launch of the Millennium Dam is even a laud and clear evidence. In life, be it at infant, adolescent, or adult stage, there are critical periods the impact of whatever we choose to do will have lasting effects. I get it. I refuse to loose twice. I am in. what about you?