Dream of a reality
By Abel Merawi
September 4, 2021 (Ezega.com) – The New Year has dawned, and in this time of hope and optimism, I wish to speak of a dream. This dream is not as big as that of Martin Luther King Jr., or the Prophets, or Dostoevsky, or all those noble and gentle creatures who transcended immediate evil to envision health and vigor. It’s not as great as it’s a dream that I was able to see clearly through the visionaries. I was able to respond to their call because the dream served to awaken a great truth that resides in each of us. Sadly, we all have big dreams of universal bliss, but we give it up easily. We fear it will trouble our hardened hearts. If we live this dream of truth and love, we subconsciously fear that it will weaken the cruelty that we mistake for strength. We’re also concerned that it will expose our true selves by removing our rationalization shields. How badly we have walked in life because the fact remains that this dream elucidates a truth that rids our illusions! The truth is that humanity practices love that strengthens ourselves and our fellow human beings.
While avoiding a lot of noise, I will talk about this dream. But first some friendly advice. I won’t tell you anything you don’t already know. I will only speak sincerely of a dream – a vision of a world that most of us consider childish and imaginary. I will tell you that a world of love and peace is not a fantasy, but rather more real than the incredibly hostile life we now call reality. One version of insanity does the same things in insane repetition and expects a better result. We have tried endlessly racial, religious, ethnic and national wars of segregation for centuries. But we did not bring peace. So why not try universal humanity in unison?
I dream of a world where we share our blessings and our sufferings – our smiles and our tears. Our human condition ultimately manifests itself in moments of cherished smiles and in times of unhappy crying; at times we are all too familiar. We’ve all smiled and cried, and so we know their deep and moving impact. So, I dream of a world where the wealth of the world is used to create a livable world. This life can and should be better. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that over 8 billion strong human species can create a world of beauty. If only we could look beyond our own fictitious and unnatural realities. If only we saw our common destiny, we can surely chart a path to world peace. It has nothing to do with surrealism or utopia; world peace is not a fantasy.
We already practice this dream every day, but unfortunately in its mini version. We practice love, justice, empathy and all the virtues that make up humanity. The problem is, we have made a serious mistake in our practice because we have degraded and diminished our virtues by parochialism – by our superficial divisions. We have distorted and insulted mankind, and so we have opened the door to all the evils that lurk to plague us. We have consistently labeled our truncated group mentality with the name of humanity, and thus we have engendered evil. One of our greatest follies is the employment of humanity for the fleeting pleasures of “us” at the expense of “them”. But I still dream of a world of fulfillment, a world in which we recognize how much humanity is sufficient to embrace both “us” and “them” as humans. Anticipating such a realization, I dream of universal humanity, which has been our distant star but can become our sun once we let go of our illusions.
If only we could dream and envision universal humanity, we would realize the nightmare of our present life. We can see the truth of this dream if we open our whole being to it. When we open our minds and hearts to this dream, we will see how insignificant our groups and sects are. After all, what is racial love compared to universal love? Ethnic humanity pales in comparison to universal humanity. Our hue based empathy is laughable as the earth is rich in people of different colors, all of whom are compassionate humans. It is beautiful to see the attentive care among the companions within a certain religious belief. But what about the others? Does our religion teach us to hate people of different faiths? Never! It actually teaches us to feel sympathy born out of the love of life. But that could never translate into coercion and destruction. Love is a great force of unity, an energy that envelops everything.
Dostoyevsky in “A Queer Guy’s Dream” asserts that it doesn’t matter whether we realized the awakened “truth” or dreamed that its feasibility and value exceeded its means of access. So these words are not just dreams. These are truths of realities to come, to be lived when they illuminate our notions and our practices. Our technological and scientific prowess makes dreams come true. Well, humanity is an internal force rather than an invention. This too can be achieved.
We must remember that our current reality is in part a representation of past dreams. Some of them were righteous dreams that only came true in distortion. Others were like delirious and crazy dreams, yet we succumbed to them collectively. We can still dream majestically and practice our dream with the lessons of history to guide our path. Our dreams and aspirations for the “good life” precede social, political and religious institutions, institutions strive to make our dreams come true. In other words, our citizenship and all other organizations cannot exist in a vacuum, without a vision of life.
The dream of moral ideals, writes Dostoyevsky, “unites people in the strongest union, which is not measured by immediate benefit, but guides the future of men to eternal goals and absolute joy.” We are currently living the dreams, distortions and nightmares of those who came before us. We had many nightmares during the Hitler Holocaust, the colored racism of colonialism in Europe and the systematic oppression of Stalin that claimed millions of lives. Yet we also had higher dreams of humanity among religious and prophetic leaders. Alas! We have made divisions and waged war against ourselves. But fortunately, we have also given birth to humanitarian organizations and designed human rights. And so, we can still dream big and stretch our humanity until it becomes universal. We cannot lose heart and give up hope since we are alone and no one comes to save us from ourselves. This land is our only home. We cannot naively indulge in parochialism. A universally benevolent identity is the dream and the guiding energy that can awaken humanity and make earthly life worth living.
Abel Meraoui is an Addis Ababa-based contributor for Ezega.com. He can be contacted via this form.
Other articles from Abel Meraoui:
Human wave attacks
The bridge between love and hate
Identity frameworks and human response to suffering
The plurality of identity
Necrophilia – The affliction among the servants of death
Public trust in social media
Even monkeys can use smart technology
Adwa – Triumph of Unassailable Humanity
Democracy and democratic institutions
Democracy and democratic people
Paideia or Deep Education
Educational objective: good citizenship vs rational autonomy
Crowd leaders as Ethiopia’s national enemies
Ethiopia under threat of mob mentality
Conformist realism in ethnic federalism
Alternatives to national identity
Ethiopia in Conflict – Part II: A National Position for Unity
Ethiopia in conflict – Part I: EPRDF and the creation of an ethnic division
Forms of human violence (Part II)
Forms of human violence (Part I)
The “have” mentality
Free but chained, Part IV: Personal Bondage
Free but chained. Part III: Economic easement
Free but chained. Part II: Social bondage
Free but chained. Part I: The Bondage of Worldview
Unemployment and economic growth in Ethiopia
Human ignorance underestimated
Is America the Land of the Free? (Part II)
Is America the Land of the Free? (Part I)
Capitalism becomes an obstacle to morality
Ketman: Live in disguise to be accepted
The system and the “criminal”
Confidence as an economic force
Do you trust the government?
Our online world
Fame confused with expertise
The heavy burden on healthcare workers
A time to think
The plague of Albert Camus: fiction becomes reality!
History of pandemics in Ethiopia
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The origins of law
Determinants of Market Value: Part II
Determinants of Market Value: Part I
Your life matters too
Artistic expression events
Achievements vs Natural Accidents
The grip of sacrifice
Injustice is never justifiable
Educational requirements of the future
Job security, life and the unpredictable future
The shift from racism to bodybuilding
Sacrifice meaning for power?
Culture and market forces
In search of cosmic justice
National myths: creators and destroyers of nations
Are we really free?
Maturity: the prerequisite for freedom and democracy
Loyalty to the truth, not to the group
The value of work
The faults of the Ethiopian political system
The intellectuals and the people
Where are our scouts?
The Allegory of the Cave and Its Lessons to the Rulers
The truth behind humanity
The Seven Virtues
The seven deadly sins
What’s the right thing to do?
Building national identity
Adey Abeba and the spirit of change
Live the truth as a human being
Hubris – The Tragedy of Not Learning from Others
The era of the group mentality: us versus them
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