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Minnesota: Beyond the Candlelight

by Johannes Jo

Most people give more importance to love and faith than they do to hope, but that’s not what I feel. What good is love and faith if there is no hope for tomorrow? What good is everything if we can’t hope to see the light through the darkness? I am not opposing love is the greatest of all but I am just expressing my feeling in my own usual odd ways what I felt yesterday night at the candlelight program here in Minnesota for remembrance of those Ethiopians who have lost their life and dignity in Saudi. You might have guessed what I felt already. Yes, you are right; it was a glaring HOPE for a change.

Haven’t we surrounded by passion, sense of nationalism, togetherness, love, hope and commitments? Haven’t we spoken the same language and understand each other? I have, and it was beyond the candlelight. I have heard an inspiring message from a patriot father. I have prayed together and blessed with religious father in spite of our religion difference. I have seen youngsters calling out to work together by putting the difference behind. I have seen people speak with passion and with the sense of nationalism. I have seen warm tears on everyone face for the love of our brothers and sisters. I have witnessed love in everyone eyes and hope in everyone heart. I have noticed commitments which will break the hall of shame we are facing. I have shaken many brave hands which electrify my body with hope and love. I have heard exciting poems which made my blood boiled. I have seen lots of hope and love walking between us until I felt like I was dreaming.

With all that in mind there is one thing which strikes me the most and woke me from my real day dream. Yes, it is the title of the video presented by one of the coordinator Henok Alemayehu. It is not just a title but it is a beautifully coded message. “Not only For a Week”. The video is narrating about one of our dear sisters Alem Dechasa who tragically lost her life in Lebanon a while ago. It is been a while since we have carried that video on our facebooks and twitter pages. Everyone’s heart was broken during that time to process such a tragedy happened to our sister. But how long have we kept that feeling close to our heart and help others. One day, two or three may be just a week. Yes, it was not more than a week.

How long this spirits of togetherness, passion, sense of nationalism and commitment last? Only for a week? I will leave this question for every Ethiopian around the globe. Yesterday was our time to act yet we still have today. But tomorrow should not be considered as an option to start while we have today to change. When we go through times of pain, yet know without a doubt that this, too, shall pass, then we have hope. And often, that alone, is enough to make all the difference. Hope is not a wish for things to get better, it’s the actual belief, the knowledge that things will get better, no matter how big or small. We should hope forever not only just for a week.

If we can’t donate then let’s participate, if we can’t participate then let’s cry out, if we can’t cry out then let’s be willing to pray from the heart, if we are not willing to pray from the heart then let’s please find a reason to live for.

No question mama Ethiopia is a blessed country that welcomes everyone to live in harmony. Shame on those who are ungrateful for what we had done for them in the past. May GOD bless Ethiopia again and again and bless the rest of the world.

My at most appreciation goes to all the coordinators, the participants and to all the audience. Thanks all for making it possible. Not only for a week guys but forever!!!

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