Bahai News - The other side of elections
The other side of elections
By Solomon Belay
Addis Ababa (The Monitor - Addis Ababa, May 9, 2000) - The current election
and electioneering process brings into mind how much human value is lost in
this materialistic world. It proves that man has strayed too far from his
own reality. To elucidate what I mean, let me relate to you a story I read
once in a book called Dawn over Mount Hira written by a great writer
There was a king in a certain land in whose dominion is thought to exist
400 holy men. One day the monarch summons his trusted servant and orders
him to dispense gold coins to each of these holy men.
Having received the order, the servant sets out to look for the holy ones.
A day or two pass before the king called his servant to give account of
The servant says he could not get a holy one to give out the coins. The
king becomes furious and shouts at the servant and asks him, "where are
the 400 holy men?" The servant calmly answers, "O King! The holy ones
don't need your gold.
Those who need your gold are not holy ones." If you are not grasping
what I mean, let me add a point. A great figure named Abdul Baha in his
historic visit to the United States of America (from Palestine in 1912)
commented on the presidential election saying: "the man worthy of the
presidency should have no ambition to surpass others but should rather
feel that he has no strength to carry such a great burden.
If the purpose of the office is the good of the public, the president
ought to be an altruist, and if he is an egoist, his election is harmful
to the nation." (World Order: Fall 1971) An altruist and humble person
will not have the courage to come via the mass media in front of million
and millions of people to claim he/she has done this and that and he/she
will do this or that if people elect him/her. Those people who took
office before them said the same thing but did nothing to curb the
problems facing us.
This is because of, I think, two reasons: The first is they never understood
the root cause of the problem and second they didn't have the real remedy
thereof. Humans are spiritual by nature.
If we want to bring a long lasting development scheme to them we have to
understand this nature-and its root has to be fed. Spirituality is the
fear of God and developing qualities like humility, truthfulness,
trustworthiness, self-effacement, sacrifice, practicality, vision,
"Those who have not the fear of God are neither trustworthy nor truthful."
They don't have the capacity to manifest the above mentioned qualities
which are crucial to solve the current crisis facing the country. If you
have these qualities, you want to be the servant of the people.
You understand service is of the essence of greatness. You serve your
country best by serving your profession best.
Faithful leadership entails sacrifice. Unfortunately, we didn't have many
leaders who dedicated their lives to the benefit of the people.
Assuming office in Ethiopia has become synonymous with prosperity for the
bearer. I am afraid that those who want our votes for election have this
wish in their hearts of hearts.
But in the media they pay lip-service to our sufferings. If they were
really interested and capable of doing what they say, there was no need to
appear in the media, to prepare posters and give discourse in big halls.
Their deeds would have spoken more than their words about themselves. If
they have to speak about themselves, they may not be men of deeds.
©Copyright 2000, The Monitor - Addis Ababa
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