Friday, September 29, 2023
Speak Your MindHuman side of things

Human side of things

I always like to see the human side of things. In fact, I believe it is one of the main things one should look at in everything that one does or thinks about. On many occasions, I believe that we forget that there is a human side to things. It is maybe easier to see the human side of things when one is dealing with what we call an ordinary person or a lay person. By ordinary person, I mean the kind of person with no remarkable wealth, knowledge, fame or power. In other words, the ordinary person is the average person. People tend to relate to these kinds of people. We tend to understand these kinds of people better probably because most of us are ordinary people. But when it comes to those who are wealthy, knowledgeable, famous and powerful, most of us tend to forget that, at the end of the day, these people are also ordinary people sharing the same weaknesses of the ordinary ones.

I love it when “extra-ordinary” people get down to earth. People can easily relate to them and understand them when they are straight-forward and humble. But I tell you that finding “extra-ordinary” people that are down-to-earth is not an easy task because the temptation to show off and put on airs is too much for them to fight. The idea of writing about the human side of things came to me after observing the attempts of high-level officials of the current government to connect to ordinary citizens. A typical example is the hour long interview that the chairperson of the national election board of Ethiopia gave to Seifu Fantahun on his late night show on EBS TV. I have to say that I loved the interview! I loved it not necessarily because I liked the content of the interview (which I did by the way) but rather because I loved to see the chairperson share her thoughts and feelings as any ordinary person would. I have to say that this is a pretty uncommon thing to do in Ethiopia. There is an unspoken rule that high level officials and politicians should give the people that message that the line between them and the people is not one that the latter can dare cross. I understand that people with authority should draw a line between them and the people that they rule to ensure respect and obedience. But this does not mean that political power overrides their human nature. I believe that through the number of interviews done with high level government officials, the late night show has contributed to the narrowing of the gap between high level officials and us.

I always say that there is no winning through war. One cannot win by harming others. There can be a temporary winning, of course. But it is about time before the “looser” retaliates and attacks back. The vicious cycle never ends unless one party decides to compromise and give chance to the peaceful way. Civil war is not different from the war we have with our neighbors at home, or the war we have with our marriage partner. All boils down to our human nature which prevents us from getting peace through war. How can a marriage survive the test of time if the only objective of the couples is to win over the other, by all means possible, even if the win is at the expense of the other? How can one expect to live in a peaceful and happy neighborhood if the neighbors do not try to resolve their conflicts through discussion and compromise but rather resort to force to get what they want? War cannot be justified at any level because of the simple fact that it goes against our human nature.

Contributed by Tsion Taye


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