Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Changes as we Move on to the Ethiopian New Year!

Every time a new-year looms one of the things that always comes to mind is resolutions…for change! (I’m sure you all have at least quite a few ones for this year).This is mostly true because we know and really feel deep inside that our current life-form or status needs some (if not full) sort of transformation. We all have an innate desire to make over. But I guess we require some kind of time-zone momentum to give in our ingrained habits, or else, we wouldn’t wait the beginning of every year to make some commitments. However, honestly speaking, turning these resolutions to fruition is, for the most part, very difficult. Although I don’t have any statistics to support me at the moment, among the common Ethiopian New Year’s resolutions, saving money, quit smoking, getting married, drinking less alcohol and nowadays getting fit stand out. Unfortunately, at the end of the year, we find many of our resolutions unresolved. The main reason appears that we humans (I don’t know whether this is true for other animals, too) find change a little discomforting…because altering our habits need a little effort, and quite a few slip-ups discourage us from continuing to fight those “shackles” of ours. Be it internal changes like altering our diets or daily routines, or else external ones, like shifting our residence, office locations, all initially become distant mountains. Well, getting rid of our customary ways, our attachments to various scenes, places and most of all, people are not something to easily “throw away” from our heads and move on, especially, if changes are several at a time. I guess we’re not created that way! Most of them come time and again on our ways and try to win over our mentalities. After all, they have been with us for a considerable time. Neither getting familiar with the newly introduced mode of doing things so quickly is simple. However, if we make a reality check and see the big picture, change seems to be an ongoing inevitable phenomenon in our day to day lives. So many things have constantly been changing in our eyes. From the privately owned rising buildings around the metropolis and government built condos to the record high devaluation (20%) of our currency are all external changes recently. The ensuing skyrocketing prices of goods as we head to the new Ethiopian Year is really a frustrating change. The 2003 Ethiopian New Year has also concurred with changes in our workstations, for those moving to new workstations, if not for those folks who remain in their former ones. All these changes could be sufficient to be nerve-racking. So, now the obvious question would be is “How do we cope-up with all of these changes?” Well, I suggest John Dewey’s advice on changes could be a panacea for at least a couple of them (if not for all the queries). According to John Dewey, “As changes are going on anyway, the great thing is to learn enough about them so that we will be able to lay hold of them and turn them in the direction of our desires. Conditions and events are neither to be fled from nor passively acquiesced in; they are to be utilized and directed.” Talk of the potential upcoming changes, (I personally confess) has always been frustrating than heartening at first to most of us. However, things will hopefully turn out to be much better as time goes by if all of us work together for a common good. Let me make wishes for the coming year as it is common in our tradition: Let the New Year be peaceful, a time for mutual understanding, much progress and most of all ACTION to change our resolutions into execution!

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