They too have their story–Desiderata

Political discussions in countries ruled by oppressive governments are marked by arrogance and noisiness—persons the poem Desiderata advises us to “Avoid” in its first stanza. Such arrogance is even extreme when the government is a totalitarian one.

In Eritrea, where I am from, we have a saying which I translate as “It is better they do evil deeds to you, than they imprint on you to do evil” (ካብ ክፉእ ዝገብሩኻስ ክፉእ ዝምህሩኻ).

Sadly the legacy of oppressive governments is not only in the deeds they do to their citizens but the evil they imprint on the political culture of the country. Many African countries, and my country in particular, are case in point.

The arrogance, the intolerance and noisiness of the government is mirrored in those change-seeking groups (all in exile or in Eritrean prisons, by the way). Once learned, it is difficult to un-learn something (and we all thought learning was hard). The damage of such a political culture becomes more painful when you see such arrogance become the cause of weakening whatever few pro-justice or pro-human rights groups these countries have; there by prolonging the life of the evil oppressors.

Before advising that we avoid loud and aggressive persons (vexations to the spirit, indeed!), the poem advises us to listen to others, and even to the dull and ignorant (I am thinking government sympathizers); they too have their story.

This timeless piece by Max Ehrmann has a lot to teach us. May God give us the wisdom and the strength to un-learn the arrogance and to speak our truths quietly and clearly.

Desiderata first stanza (click to be directed to the entire poem)

Desiderata first stanza (click to be directed to the entire poem)

ለበዋ ደዚደራታ

“ለበዋ ደዚደራታ” እትብል ጽሕፍቲ ገና ንእሽተይ (አንቢቡ ዝኽእል ንእሽተይ) እንከለኹ’የ ዝዝክራ:: ኣብታ ፊት ካቴድራለ እትርከብ እንዳ ጫማ ንጉሰ ገብረታትዮስ (ንጉሰ ገ.) አብቲ መንደቕ ከም ስእሊ ኣብ “ፍሬም” ኣትያ ተለጢፋ ትርከብ:: ጌጋ ይኽልኣለይ እምበር አብዚ ቀረባ ግዜ’ኳ ካብቲ መንደቕ ተኣልያስ አብቲ ገዚፍ ጣውላ አብ ትሕቲ ነቲ ጣውላ ዝሽፍን መስትያት አትያ ርእየያ አለኹ::

ትሕዝቶ እዛ ጽሕፍቲ ሰናይ ምንባሩ ይዝከረኒ: እቲ ፍረ ነገሩ ግን ዳርጋ ኣይዝክሮን:: ብተወሳኺ’ውን እዛ ብኣተሓሳስባይ “ደዚደራታ” ዝስሙ ግለሰብ ዝጸሓፋ ምዕዶ ኣብ ዓለም ፍልጥቲ ጽሕፍቲ ትመስለኒ ኣይነበረትን::

ሎሚ ብኣጋጣሚ ሓንቲ ጽሕፍቲ እናንበብኩ ከለኹ ምስዛ ብ ንእስነተይ ዝዝክራ ጽሕፍቲ ተራኺብና:: ካብ ግዜ ንእስነተይ ምዝኽኻር ንላዕሊ ድማ: እቲ ትሕዝቶኣ አዝዩ ተንኪፉኒ::

አብ ኤንተርነት ብዝገበርክዎ መጽናዕቲ መሰረት ክልተ ነገር ተገንዚበ:: መጀመርያ: “ደዚደራታ” ስም ሰብ ዘይኮነሲ ኣርእስቲ ናይታ ጽሕፍቲ እዩ:: ደዚደራታ ብ ቋንቋ ላቲን “ተበሃጊ ነገራት” ማለት እዩ:: ብ 1920ታት ዝተጻሕፈት ግጥሚ ኮይና: ብ ሓደ ናይ ጀርመን መበቆል ዘለዎ ኣሜሪካዊ ኣቶ. ማክስ ኤርማን እያ ተጻሒፋ::

እቲ ካልኣይ ዝተገንዘብክዎ ነገር ናይ ትግርኛ ትርጉም እዛ ጽሕፍቲ ኣብ ኤንተርነት ክረኽቦ ዘይምኻለይ’ዩ [ተረኺቡ]:: ይኹን እንበር ዋላ ብ እንግልዚኛ ይኹን ሓቲመ አብ መንደቕ ክልጥፋ መዲበ ኣለኹ:: ምናልባት ከምዚ ከማይ ነዛ ጽሕፍቲ ክትውንኑ እንተደሊኹም: ንሕትመት ድልው ጌረ ኣብዚ ዝስዕብ አድራሻ ጌረያ አለኹ:- (1) Clean PDF version (2) Large JPEG image version


“Desiderata” prose poem – Larger version of this image is provided in the links above.

Updated 2: Jan 29