9 June 2018

Ethiopia: Multiplier Effects of Personal Integrity That Ethiopia Needs


Last week, I was in Bale Goba and Robe, two of the most stunning destinations in Ethiopia, for charity work as well as some quality time for myself. From the pleasant weather to the affable locals, it is hard to get enough of the place.

During my stay in Bale, I stayed at a hotel. The room I had was reasonably clean, and the bed was comfortable.

After my first night there, I contacted the hotel manager's office to express my gratitude. However, the hotel manager welcomed my appreciation with a surprise. Raising the issue over breakfast to my friends, I was greeted with a similar level of astonishment. Most of the people that travelled previously to Bale for work laughed and told me that they have had the opposite experience with the accommodations of the hotel.

It turns out that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) had visited Bale a few days before my arrival. The hotel had upgraded every room for this occasion. Although Abiy did not stay long, Lemma Megerssa, president of the Oromia Regional State, had accompanied the Prime Minister and spent a night at this freshly renovated hotel.

I crosschecked this account with the hotel manager. He did not just confirm it but told me how lucky I was to visit right after all the repairs and makeovers.

In leadership, business or in social interactions, some of us are bound by the need to seek the approval of others. We lose sight of our responsibilities and are rarely diligent. Experience has not shaped us properly as we can easily drift back to our old habits when no one, at least no one that we consider important, is looking.

Nothing on earth is as indefinable and yet as powerful as our principles in life. They have the influence to guide our lives towards the direction of greatness. Strong principles in life can be inherited from family and society and will affect our professional lives. Most people in businesses and in the social spectrum are downright oblivious to personal accountability and integrity in their actions.

Doing the right thing for anyone can be a reason for self-fulfilment. The habit of establishing persistence and integrity may seem like tiresome activities, but they bring with them optimal and desirable results. Not only does this help us achieve our higher goals in life but it will also help create favourable impressions about us by others.

Commitment and passion for the things we do are virtues. They are also some of the most important attributes of a person irrespective of profession or economic standing.

Experience and knowledge bring respect to any individual. But the superior person is the one who is committed and filled with passion each day. These attitudes become ingrained into our mindsets and push us to do the right things automatically.

I witnessed the same level of personal responsibility and integrity in my friends while leaving a coffee shop. A car had slammed into another parked car. The driver inside was attempting to change gears into reverse and flee scene. My two friends jumped in front of the car to stop him. It took snapping a photo of his licence plate number to force him to stop, step out of his vehicle and take responsibility for the damage he had caused.

I was very impressed by my friends' high moral standards and their strong sense of responsibility. Almost every onlooker asked whether the parked car was ours. When I replied that we neither knew the driver nor the person who caused the accident some asked why we cared. This is the sort of mindset that is dragging us behind as a society.

We must act ethically in all aspects of our lives. When we possess unwavering commitments for the things we do, whether paid or not, we develop character traits that will foster remarkable results that can be noticed and admired by others.

We need to have the right attitudes and self-disciplines as leaders, business owners, family members and citizens.

It takes a certain level of commitment to achieve greatness. Nothing in life comes easily, least of all integrity or the will to be determined. But it helps us do the right things as my friends did to protect the interest of a complete stranger, for free. Meanwhile, the hotel manager in Bale has failed to act in the interest of his customers.


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