By Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
A number of countries around the world, notably in Europe, Americas and Asia were able to develop better relationship among their citizens, neighboring countries, and the world, based on the win-win strategy. That means although at community, national, and international levels, people with different backgrounds come together to solve problems caused by differences in their values and create solutions which allow all parties to benefit from their relations, and keep on building on the strength of their strategies so that all participants continue growing. So, as long as the Win-Win strategy is applied by all participants, they continue winning! It is INSANE to expect failure in this Win-Win strategy!
But, as I explained in my earlier posting “The Circular Paths of Human…”, the most constant thing about human life is CHANGE! So, to continue benefiting from the Win-Win strategy, humans must continue IMPROVING the mechanism of their strategies so that they all may continue benefiting, otherwise it may morph into WIN-LOSE scenarios. Good examples today include the relationships between the French and its former colonies in West Africa. Because of lack change in their relationships, over decades the former colonies see themselves as being exploited and now, there are unprecedented government overthrows!
How does the definition of INSANITY apply to Ethiopia?
- Failed ethnic-based governments
- The Tigray Peoples Liberation Front ruled Ethiopia as an ethnic-based government with clear, unabashed intention of declaring independence if it became necessary. It was a clear Win-lose strategy where the TPLF and their supporters won, and their perceived enemy lost. The TPLF controlled everything in the country. But the growing and dissatisfied population of the country, after 27-years of suppression, eventually got rid of them. TPLF tried to implement their strategy of independent Tigray Nation, but failed because the nation would not tolerate that.
- Currently, Ethiopia is being governed by the majority ethnic Oromo, and it appears a large number of the leadership is applying the TPLF’s model of Ethiopian governance. Needless to say, the Tigray people suffered the most under the TPLF administration, and after its fall. Already there is an uprising against the Ethiopian government by the Amhara’s Fano armed forces, partly because of the violence by the Oromo armed forces against the Amhara people living in the Oromia region! It is INSANE that the Oromo “Liberators” expect an outcome which is different from what the TPLF put the Country and its population through!
- They say, “Once beaten, twice shy”, and we hope the Amhara Fanos will appreciate Albert Einstein’s definition of INSANITY and help create the environment for WIN-WIN opportunity!
- Inter-ethnic conflicts: Many communities that have lived as neighbors for centuries usually base their hostile relationships on ethnic differences such as culture, language, beliefs, territorial claims, and ownership of natural resources such as water and grazing land. Their relationship is invariably We-Win-You-Lose! The hostilities often lead to assault of one group on the neighbors – killing people, burning of crops in the fields, burning of homes, stealing cattle, etc. The attackers now expect retaliation by the victims when the time is right. That means they are constantly on the lookout to protect themselves. When the time is right, the former victims hit back and cause destruction of the enemy! The cycles go on and on forever! It would be the height of INSANITY to expect their lives to be any different, except may be change in the weapons to destroy each other! What if their strategy is changed to Win-Win? They learn and speak each other’s languages, they learn and respect each other’s culture, they share the God-given natural resources so that they all prosper, they come together and make plans to improve the qualities of their lives – build schools, build hospitals, explore their natural resources for the benefit of all. Most importantly, they live in peace as neighbors should!
- Faith-based conflict: Today, there are two major religious groups in Ethiopia – Christians and Muslims, both are divided into two based on details about their faiths. There are other local beliefs. What is often not discussed even in the so-called developed world, is the fact that whatever one’s religion is, all human beings are designed, create, reproduced exactly the same way. The analysis of molecules in human body are the same whoever they believe their God is, whatever their skin color or the language they speak. Thus, although we have different beliefs about our God, the creator is the same! If we all accept that fact, people should not be hurting or killing each other because of their beliefs. So, by accepting each other’s faith people become friends and generate Win-Win relationships instead of killing each other in the defense of the God who created the universe!
- Autocratic governance: Like ethnic-based governance, autocratic governments use all sorts of improper techniques to govern – Muzzling the population to suppress any objection, imprison opponents, kill opponents, use grafts to win support of influential entities, encourage clash between citizens to eliminate enemies, etc. All the time there is resistance of the oppressed people who develop all sorts of strategies to undermine and eventually eliminate the oppressor. The autocrat’s strategy is Win-Lose, and the attack on the innocent people may be repeated many, many times for years, but the result will be the same – resistance and eventual loss by the oppressor!
- Lifestyle: Like all animals, we human beings are born without any clothes on our bodies! Hundreds of thousand years ago, the first human beings used their God-given brains and developed basic garments from plants and animal leather to protect themselves against cold, rain, etc. Other the following centuries, clothing evolved to where we are today. Win-Win had to be applied to arrive to where we are today. Human beings used to live in caves, but over centuries learned to develop technology to where we are today. Other animals have not changed because they do not have the brain-capacity humans have! The less collaborative we are, the more Win-Lose environment we create, the less opportunity we have to develop the God-give potentials we have, and we remain closer to the animals. So, instead of collaborating on how to optimize their natural resources, and improve qualities of their lives, neighboring Amaras and Oromos are mostly pre-occupied with how to protect themselves against each other or destroy each other.
- Education: This not just about knowing how to read and write! Knowing basic decency, about humanity, honesty, sincerity, positive contribution to communities, knowing between good and evil are values of education. Being able to read and write can massively increase one’s knowledge and even help contribute to civilization, thus empowering the Win-Win principle.
- Reproduction: Last but not least, reproduction is what allowed human beings and their predecessors, through survival of the fittest, evolution to where we are today. All living animals went through the same processes. The difference between humans and animals is the fact that with proper use of their brains, the humans have been able to improve their chance of survival and even prolong their lives on earth. The methods include protection against the climate, production and storage of food to protect against starvation, produce weapons to protect themselves against other animals, development of remedies to those who fall ill. Even, develop methods of artificial insemination to help sterile female produce children. These abilities of human beings have led to progressive increase in the world population of human beings to about 9 billion people today! In societies where knowledge and opportunities are available, people today can make choice on how many children they can have, so that they can give them all the benefits of quality lives while the parents themselves continue enjoying good lives. Today, as I pointed out in my earlier article – “The circular paths….” While fighting to keep other ethnic groups out of their territories, Oromos and Amaras are experiencing explosion of their populations – 140% increase between 1992 and 2022, leading to less than 1 hectare per capita of the population. So, with such reducing space available for families, what are these regions doing to control the population growth for the benefit and the prosperity of all? What if the relationship between these ethnic groups is WIN-WIN? Most probably there would not be need for so many children per family, especially male just to provide the army to fight their neighbor, they can use their youth for the developments which would be useful for all!
Said G Osman