People deal with unpleasant circumstances in a variety of ways. I see three major ways to deal with an undesirable circumstance. Accepting the situation as it is and adapting to it, attempting to alter the situation, and then denying the situation entirely are the three stages of acceptance.
Perhaps I am mistaken, but I often get the impression that our people prefer the first strategy, which is to accept the undesirable situation as it is and attempt to cope. I frequently assert that the Ethiopian people are courteous, well-mannered, and tolerant of difficult situations. This is a population that has learned to make do with less than ideal circumstances, and they show their gratitude to God by counting their blessings.
On the other hand, I believe that its leaders are in denial about how the people truly feel about the former. For me, denial is a state of non-acceptance in which we create mental illusions that everything is appropriate and as it should be.
It is self-deception to believe that everything is fine when the opposite is true. It is living with a self-created reality that in no way corresponds with actual reality.
No sane person would refuse to accept a pleasant situation, because denial pertains to unfavorable circumstances. I wonder why people engage in denial when confronted with adversity.
People who use denial as a coping mechanism are, in my opinion, those who consider themselves invulnerable. In other words, these individuals do not believe that a negative circumstance could occur to them; they believe they are too good for such circumstances.
Since they have constructed an imaginary wall of protection against the unpleasant, they live in an imaginary world that is “free” of unpleasantness. When confronted with the uncomfortable, they only know how to fight it as hard as they can, even if that means harming those who reveal the unpleasant truth. These individuals also exhibit arrogance and a false sense of “self-esteem” that blinds them to the ugliness of their surroundings.
Both extreme coping strategies, acceptance and denial, are ineffective if the undesirable situation is one that can be altered for the better. Both perpetuate the undesirable outcomes because they are passive toward the situation, believing that there is nothing they can or will do to change it. Therefore, the undesirable circumstance continues to deteriorate until you can no longer deny or accept it.
This is the point at which the acceptors can no longer accept that the water has become unbearably hot and the deniers can no longer deny that the water is boiling to the point of overflowing. Here is where both acceptors and deniers pay the price for acceptance and rejection.
But I wonder, wouldn’t it be more prudent for both acceptors and deniers to regularly check the water temperature? In other words, wouldn’t it be more prudent to constantly and routinely monitor the situation’s severity before it reaches the point of no return?