Have you ever done something just for the sake of doing it? Or have you observed people doing things just for the sake of doing those things? What I mean is, sometimes people do stuff without questioning what the actual use or benefit of doing those things are. They do the things just because it is a requirement or out of simple habit. Without flattering myself, I have to say that I am the kind of person who likes to ask what the purpose or benefit of doing something actually is. Knowing that whatever I do is serving some kind of real purpose, or is yielding some real benefit, either for myself or for others, actually motivates me to do that particular thing. In other words, I like to do something which I know is serving a real purpose. That purpose can be as simple as personal satisfaction and happiness.
It is not on rare occasions that I observe people doing things just for the sake of doing those things. In most cases, I have observed that many people do stuff just because it is a requirement to do so, or it is custom or tradition to do so, or simply, they have made it a habit and have forgotten at some point the real purpose for which they are doing it. I have probably mentioned this story in one of my articles, but I am going to repeat it anyway in this article. So one time, I had to have my foreign degrees accredited by the local public institution that provides such accreditation services. One of the purposes of this service is to identify the Ethiopian equivalent of my foreign degree titles. So, the guy responsible for this service asked me to provide copies of my academic transcripts, degrees, and academic theses. So I thought then that the expert will be reviewing all these documents to come up himself, or with his teammates, with the Ethiopian equivalent of the foreign degree title. To my surprise, he asked me next to have my professors in the foreign university write an email directly to him telling him the Ethiopian equivalent of the degree title he should be giving me. Now, that was a totally absurd request to make! How can he expect a professor in a foreign university, in a foreign country, to know what Ethiopian degree title he should be giving out? What was the whole purpose of gathering all my academic documentations if he only needs one simple email from the professor to give him an Ethiopian degree title, as absurd that request actually is? Basically, this guy has either not understood his responsibility, or he is just following absurd orders!
Another example which relates to my topic today is the case of wheelchair ramps or the slopes that people on wheelchairs use to access a building. I have seen so many hilarious wheelchair ramps in Addis! I can even say that the number of building owners in Addis who take wheelchair ramps seriously are few in number. Simply put, the wheelchair ramps in many buildings in Addis are not only difficult to climb by the disabled but also by the abled person. They are too narrow, and too steep, and make you want to choose the ordinary stairs instead. I have actually seen the weirdest wheelchair ramps in the middle of Bole, in the seemingly luxurious buildings of the busiest and modern street of Ethiopia. The one I once saw was very steep, very narrow, and funnily, had a flower pot standing at its top, and a closed building door closed in front of it! So what is the purpose of having built a wheelchair ramp on that building? And what is the purpose of the law makers requiring this particular building owner to build a wheelchair ramp if they do not take the time to monitor its proper use? I really think that we need to be serving a purpose when doing the things that we do everyday!