Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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Quotes & things

The internet especially social media, has become a space where quotes from all over the place. Some make sense and others not so much. Although it might sound corny, for lack of a better term, there is a certain impact that quotes have on people reading them. Perhaps it is because they are short and deliver poignant messages, or because they are usually written in artistic ways and have pictures and drawings around them which usually attracts attention. Nonetheless, let me share some of the great quotes that often come across online, perhaps they might be spark a small inspirational light in you just as they did in me.

“We must find courage to define ourselves for ourselves” is a quote by Tiffany Dufu from her book “Drop the ball”. This is something that I constantly talk about with friends, but especially with a lot of young people who come to me for career advice. Defining oneself is often a challenging task because there are many people around you, parents, siblings, friends and the greater community, expecting you or telling you to be a certain way. Defying that and getting our own definition of ourselves if for me the first form of courage and accountability to ourselves. Regardless of the outcome of the definition, that small act is a sure way of taking control of our life. Of course, we are in control of very little in life but that is a discussion for another time

“A man without a donkey is a donkey” is a Swahili saying shared by a friend who lives in Kenya. Something tells me there is an equivalent to this saying in the different languages of Ethiopia. The saying delivers a harsh and true message. If you do not have help with the loads you have to carry, then you have to carry them yourselves. Perhaps this could inspire some of us, not pointing any fingers, to treat those who work for us and share our loads better!

“Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them” is a quote by a little known man named Albert Einstein. Next to a quote about insanity attributed to him, this is perhaps my favorite quote. If we encounter a problem, we need a certain level of growth to be able to get out of the problem. It is a great reminder that problems and obstacles always come to teach us lessons.  

“Africa produces what it does not consume and consumes what it does not produce” this is from Prof. Ali A. Mazrui a great African intellectual. Some of the African countries are trying to change this, and hopefully with the Continental Free Trade Agreement coming into force, the message of this quote will be a thing of the past. But until then, this quote describes the state of being of our continent.

Last but not least, there is a very cliché quote from John F. Kennedy that everyone knows. It is something about asking about what one can do for her country instead of what her country can do for her. Again, I absolutely think that is a very cliché quote, and do not like to use it that often but there is something in that quote that reminds me of a question that I often ask myself: how can I impact change within my own community, country and even continent. There is a good feeling when one gets financial success, but there is unimaginable sense of purpose when one is able to create impact that changes people’s lives.


Contributed by Leyou Tameru


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