Don’t Ever Be Optimist or Pessimist, Just Believe in Possibilities!

By Kassa Legesse
Jan 4, 2013

Heap of Blame and Criticism doesn’t Necessarily Form Credible Facts. Yet I see in Ethiopian political discourse and in the media polarized views: heap of appreciation unwilling to see the tangible failures, and heap of blame game unwilling to admit success stories.

To begin with, I am not fond of those who like to appreciate everything the ruling party does. It is quite clear that the ruling party has shortcomings and that is why, come every appraisal, it claims to have mistakes it recognizes over its assessment sessions.

At the same time there are some who indulge to naming and shaming failures of the ruling party in this country every time they pick their pen to write and anytime they open their mouth. Honestly what I see in such situations is the very problem is the one with such downer views. No international democratic experience gives us a democratic system with no flaws. If it is to name and shame bad things, you can go straight to America and find thousands of them. There is no problem to narrate challenges. Challenges are there. What we lack is heroes who solve them.

The world in no time has recorded a hero who speaks of pains of public. It is not in telling the descriptions of the pains that we find the solutions. On the other hand, take any hero the world has ever admired for its accomplishments, she doesn’t solve every challenge; he only solves the most important problem that he or she sets as the top most agenda of their struggle. We don’t need a hero and leader to be right in everything. We need a leader to find solution at least to one important problem.

Take, for instance, Nelson Mandela most appreciate Madiba for his outstanding struggle against apartheid. He is also admired for his reconciliation between the white and the aboriginals in South Africa. Look here: Is South African black poor better off after nearly two decades in power of ANC? No. The difference that happens there through Mandela and his party so far hasn’t changed a lot the life of Black South Africans. Yet we can’t deny Nelson Mandela, otherwise known as Madiba, the recognition that he deserves for what he has managed to change there.

By the same token, here in our country, why do we expect our leaders to be error free while we know they are human and it is normal to err for a human being. If it is not deliberate blindness and denial to give recognition for those who deserve it I can’t find one good reason to do so.

Usually, there is a claim that ETV and Ethiopian Radio tell the good stories the government often manages to resolve. It is true. Of course, I understand it is right to demand ETV to produce news and stories that draw lessons from failures and intentional wrong doings that happen to make personal gains out of it. Lessons can also be learned from failures so long as they are framed in a way they become learn-able.

But how about, the Private Media and many others including members of the opposition who only see failures every where they turn their eyes for data? How about those who only can appreciate the loose buttons even in the hugely successful accomplishments? I know the way is not in being always a yes person or a No person. It is in the middle: being able to see tangible failures while you support it, and being able to see successes while, one under your investigation, is your opponent. I think balance happens here. Integrity to what is relevant plus useful and not to ideology comes here.

Most of the time, we tend to say negative if we once determine somebody is on the wrong side of the fence, how far correct his actions may be. We tend to say positive if once we see someone on the right side of the fence. Let’s at least admit the fence we draw to determine wrong from right is not natural; rather it is personal; and, of course, the one who think to be right could be wrong. How could one be that stubborn to see the story of the other person with open heart putting his prior judgment on the sidelines.

It is always good to be balanced and matured to see separate things on separate measures than condemning what is happening now based on your prior judgment. I am not only saying this time the person may be right; I am also saying last time you may be the one who is wrong. Nature doesn’t make anyone of us perfectly sure of anyone’s wrong doing. What nature does is allow everyone to have the opportunity to proof its claims.

Why don’t we, Ethiopians, try and make adjustments with ourselves to make sure that we give everything and everybody a chance to proof their position every time they come with any proposition?

The thing that I know for sure is, how far good we are to heap massive appreciations on something we like we can’t erode the inherent failures and the eventual wrong doings so long as they are there. Again, how far we be good enough in erecting piles of stories of failures and blame, there is no way for us to kill the good deeds of any particular group.

What is at stake in such circumstances is not the nature of the thing we talk about; rather what is at stake is the integrity of one who does such irrational judgments. Wrongs and rights are always there. What brings them out to the surface to look for solution is balanced character that search for what has happened despite its position.

Indeed, someone who is interested in the solutions than where the blame and the appreciation goes can make a difference unlike those that further blur the scenario with more mud than searching lenses. Don’t ever be optimist or pessimist, just believe in possibilities. I believe it is worth it. See you in another piece.