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Meditations

I-Tal Education for I&I

“Man, after all, is also composed of intellect and soul. Therefore, education in general, and higher education in particular, must aim to provide, beyond the physical, food for the intellect and soul.” #QHS

“What we have seen wherever we went has convinced us that education is as vital as life itself.” #QHS

Education is I-tal like Food, Jah seh.

Similarly, teachers are like farmers or cooks or restaurateurs, producing and elaborating and distributing food.

This food could be pure and healthy, when it is wisely grown without pollution of human ignorance or stupidity, free from pesticides of carnal and personal passions, full of natural truth and without additives of lies;

it could be delicious and tasty, when it is creatively processed and combined with art and skill, spiced with grace and and presented with inspiring and encouraging sense of beauty;

it could be nutritious and energetic, when its mind-soil is fertile and rich of information, watered by living rock-streams of high meditation, warmed by the powerful sun of the African Christ.

Some of them teachers claim to be elder of age and experience and noble in deeds, but their teaching is toxic like fried garbage;

another is monotonous heavy and illegible like a dull inexpressive schlop;

another one is just repeating the same banal rigmarole and rethoric without any actual contribution of usefulness.

Surely, self-help in physical and well spiritual nutrition is the goal, but to reach that stage we generally need the help of our fathers and brethren.

Remember the example of the King: choose the best teachers as the best food for yourself.

(Artworks by Jah Zion)

Categories
Meditations

Invest in Education Now

Nowadays, the scarce condition of I&I educational system is due to several different factors, and one of them is surely the disproportion of deal between entertainment and education.

We invested in music industry tons of money, attention and support, and we have thousands of artists, sound systems and bands. Myriads of events, festivals, frameworks, structures and superstructures to push and exalt them. To get what ? Nothing actually, for without Education – that is the Root Word – Sound cannot bear actual fruit in Power. Ironically, this is the Tree without Roots that they chant about, and we see that reggae-dub people very often is completely alienated from I&I faith and purposes.

People should learn to spend in their education, as much as they spend in their artistic fun. They should learn to support the educational workers and teachers, and give them space of working expression and economic subsistence. I remind that His Majesty devoted the higher percentage of national budget to financially sustain educational activities. We need books and teachers now to grow, as it was for Imperial Ethiopia, and create a minimum balance of responsibility.

Certain ones claim that teachers are delusional. How much delusional musicians are instead ? Sometimes it seems we have created a privileged caste of richmen that give no contribution to I&I and spread stupidity, indecence and moral confusion. Their environments, without educational basis, become like shameful sodomitic chilling areas with no consciousness at all, and all our resources are wasted in the final instance. We will stop to deceive ourselves with expectations when we will realize they are two essential human jobs and services, that someone has to perform, and earn a living from that, without excesses of esteem and through clear Ethiopian standards.

Let we stop to replace education with music. We need schools and academic workers, and it could never be a concert or a tune to give us that serious learning we need in life. They got another role, another function, another charisma and another talent, and only a handicapped people mix up the two realities without professional discernment.

So let the people start to buy books as they buy vinyls and albums, even at crazy prices; let the people start to pay and respect writers and teachers for their performances, while they worship and idolatrize musicians without reason; let them stop to give educational efforts for granted, like we manage something of second-class, that should be always freely given and got no sacrifice or toil behind.

Indeed, teaching is art and wisdom is worth more than silver and gold. Wake up and give us the Root of Roots.

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Haile Selassie I - Testimonies More Speeches of Haile Selassie I

Francis Ofner, The Christian Science Monitor, 1950

The Christian Science Monitor (US weekly magazine)
article by Francis Ofner
August 19, 1950

“HAILE SELASSIE: THREE PRIORITIES

EMPEROR STRESSES IMPORTANCE OF MORE EDUCATION, BETTER COMMUNICATIONS, AND FULL EMPLOYEMENT

Ethiopian peasants were standing at the roadside waiting for their Emperor to return from the inauguration of a bridge over the Blue Nile. My car followed closely that of Haile Selassie, and I saw simple, black farmers stop their ruler occasionally and hand him their written complaint and requests. The Emperor had no bodyguards, nor was his car protected by an armed escort.

This scene contained symbolically the main elements of Haile Selassie’s rule: development of the country, care for all the details of his administration, and popularity with his people. Few other rulers in the Middle East would or could have risked such a direct contact with their subjects.

‘I have three priorities in serving my country’, Haile Selassie said to me in an exclusive interview. ‘I first want to expand education. My second ambition is to develop communications. And the third – I wish to secure employment for all Ethiopians’. #QHS

These were no idle words. Ethiopia has been brought from its 1,600-year seclusion to active cooperation with the civilized nations of the world during the reign of Haile Selassie. He has established schools in areas where they never existed before. From less than 10 schools that were existing in Ethiopia when Haile Selassie, under the name of Ras Tafari, became Regent of Ethiopia 34 years ago, their number has increased to more than 400 with 55,000 pupils. In addition, the Emperor’s government is financing the studies of nearly 300 Ethiopian students in various foreign countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom.

Haile Selassie also introduced airplanes into his country where mules have been the main means of transport. He consolidated the loosely connected feudal confederation of regional princes and kings into a centralized empire and, above all, he is abolishing slavery in this heart of Africa.

‘To develop Ethiopia, the country needs a foreign loan’, the monarch said. ‘A mission of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development is here to investigate the possibilities for granting such a loan. But I have not yet been informed of its recommendations.’ #QHS

‘My people are able to pay back’, Haile Selassie said, explaining that his country is rich in mineral resources. #QHS

The Emperor has a blueprint of an economic five-year plan prepared by his foreign experts. The $25,000,000 loan asked for from the International Bank is needed to start the financing of this plan.

The interview took place in the green drawing room of Haile Selassie’s French-styled palace in the heart of Addis Ababa. No lion cubs have been in the room, as was the custom at this court not so long ago. There was only the Emperor’s private secretary, in cutaway and striped trousers. Haile Selassie wears a British general’s uniform.

‘The United Nations will have to recognize that Eritrea, this former Italian colony, should be returned to Ethiopia’, said the Emperor, switching to foreign affairs. ‘Except for the period of Italy’s invasion of East Africa, which started at the turn of the last century, Eritrea has always formed a part of Ethiopia. It would be only just and fair to return this province to its homeland.’ #QHS

Referring to his bitter experience with the defunct League of Nations 15 years ago, when the Italians invaded his country, Haile Selassie exclaimed: ‘The Eritrean question gives an opportunity to the United Nations to show proof that they administer world affairs better than the old League’. #QHS

Haile Selassie is one of the few rulers in this part of the world who expresses sympathy for Israel. ‘Ethiopia and Israel have the same ancestors and claim the same origin’, the Emperor said. ‘We are glad that after so many centuries of persecution the sons of Israel have regained their freedom, and justice has been rendered to them.’ Haile Selassie at the same time expressed hope that Israel’s government will assist Ethiopia in the question of Eritrea. #QHS

The Emperor’s sympathy for Israel does not change the fact that Ethiopia refuses to recognize Israel and that Egyptian influence in this country is considerable. Ethiopia and Egypt raised their legations to the rank of embassies last spring. An Egyptian-Ethiopian air agreement has also been signed. A group of 13 Egyptian newspapermen visited Ethiopia earlier this year. The catching of Arab votes for the UN discussion on Eritrea and the possibility of constructing dams on Lake Tana, the source of the Blue Nile, are both weighty reasons to keep Ethiopia close to Egypt.

Isolation has, for ages, been a brake on Ethiopia’s development and progress. Haile Selassie, determined to remove this arresting factor, brought his country to the world’s international arena long before Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia. As early as 1923, Ethiopia joined the League of Nations. It is a member of the United Nations. It has embassies in Washington, London, Paris, ministers accredited to the Soviet Union and nine other countries, and consular officials in nine more.

Haile Selassie is probably Ethiopia’s most hard-working man. He gets up regularly at 5 a.m., takes up state matters even before breakfast, which is at 8 a.m. From 9 a.m. till 1:15 p.m. he receives officials and visitors. At 4 p.m. he reenters his office and works until 8 p.m. After supper, the Emperor often works until late in the evening. He has two rest days weekly: Saturday and Sunday.

The 58-year-old Emperor speaks excellent French and good English. In 1916, under the name of Ras Tafari Makonnen, he was appointed by the Council of Great Chiefs of Mark to be ‘Regent to Empress Zauditu’. Following the passing of the Empress in 1930 he ascended the throne and adopted the name and title ‘Haile Selassie I, the Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Elect of God, King of Kings, Emperor of Ethiopia’. Belonging to the Coptic Christian Church, he does not have a ‘harem’, but only one wife, with whom, contrary to customs in most Middle Eastern countries, he appears in public.

When I was invited to the Imperial Palace, I was told by the Emperor’s private secretary to wear formal clothes and to bow three times when entering Haile Selassie’s room. At the entrance of the drawing room, white-clad servants with white gloves were standing in two rows. I was warned not to address Haile Selassie otherwise than ‘Your Imperial Majesty’.

All this may appear to a critical westerner as too much of a protocol and overpompousness. However, one should remember that in spite of strict observance of rigid formalities Haile Selassie’s court is one of the few in the world where the interests of a neglected and backward people are being incessantly fostered by an enlightened and great reformer.”

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Haile Selassie I - Teachings

Education must be the Principal

“The general happiness of mankind today is rather scant and insecure; but We should have to live and do Our best to ameliorate it. Education of the youth is the surest guarantee of a better life. Therefore, among the many projects undertaken for the welfare and prosperity of Ethiopia, We have planned that education be the principal. Many foreign teachers have been brought in to feed the youth like a gardener feeds his plants with fresh water.” #QHS

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Haile Selassie I - Teachings Haile Selassie I - Video

From “The Lion and the Cross” – 1963 US Documentary

INTERVIEWER: “Your Majesty, what in your opinion are Ethiopia’s greatest needs?”
HIM: “We have already begun the program most essential for Ethiopia, that is to raise the standard of living of her people through education and better health. These would be the primary objectives. The remaining needs will not be forgotten and will also be taken care of.”
INTERVIEWER: “Your Majesty has taken a personal interest and a personal hand almost in every phase of life in Ethiopia, but does Your Majesty not sometimes grow weary, and perhaps feel that this all too much work for one man”.
HIM: “This is really not significant. One individual naturally cannot shoulder the responsibility of a whole nation. We have already told this to our ministers and government officials. Our main objective in the administration of the affairs of 22 million people is that all should cooperate and share responsibility. This has always been our program and will continue to be our program. Our wish is to serve our country as an Ethiopian. It is our conviction that the administration of the country should not depend on one person, but is rather the concern of all, each in his own way must help his country.”
INTERVIEWER: “What does Your Majesty learn from the attempted coup d’etat?”
HIM: “You can say that they have learned from us, those who attempted the coup d’etat. There is nothing that we have learned from them. If you examine their demands you will find we have already started these reforms. We would have been delighted to learn something new from them.”
INTERVIEWER: “Does Your Majesty see Ethiopia emerging as a leader or perhaps even the leader of Africa ?”
HIM: “Ethiopia does not have any intention of being the leader of Africa as such. It hopes to live harmoniously with all its African sister countries. How long did the american confederation take to become united ? I believe you even fought a war about it.”
INTERVIEWER: “Would Your Majesty care to say a few words in english” ?
HIM: “My English is very poor. The most critical issue that has felt (?) the world in recent times was the Cuba-US conflict. The statemanship and wisdom of Prime Minister Khrushchev has greatly helped to ease the situation. We’d like to take the opportunity to congratulate both President Kennedy and President Premier Khrushchev as well as Secretary General U Thant.”
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Spiritual Poetry

Learn and Teach

“It is not enough for the children of Ethiopia to be recipients of education. They should never forget that the responsibility for passing on this knowledge to others and of handing it over to the next generation rests on them.”
(Selected Speeches p.8 )
“Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”
(Deuteronomy 11, 18-19)
Don#’t be wise
with yourself only
share the light
if you have something
to do it right
for your brethren
how much might
received in schooling
now should write
return the service
teach your eye
reciprocate it
with another guy
kingdom in shaping
especially the child
youths need aiding
heritage to refine
a quality of races.
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Haile Selassie I - Teachings

How can we Express without Education ?

 

“The extensive development of education should rank high in the list of your objecives. We have repeatedly stated in Our public utterances that ‘Knowledge is power and unity is strength’. If We had not developed education in our people, to whom could We have expressed this wish ? Praise be to Him, who has enabled Us to express it to the present as to future generations”. 

 

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Haile Selassie I - Teachings

Learn Languages

“Difference in language often creates misunderstanding, and can seriously affect the responsibilities that are being bestowed on you. Lack of knowledge of the national language will be a barrier for the education we have in mind for you. In addition to your national language, it is necessary for you to acquire knowledge of a foreign language, for in this way you will not only acquire the basic education, but also will be able to attain the University standard. It is imperative that you encourage your children in the acquisition of education. It is exceedingly difficult for you to fulfill your duties as members of Parliament through interpreters. We have opened the door to education, and it is your duty to use that education. If, through idleness, you do not avail yourselves of this opportunity, you will have condemned yourselves to ignorance.”

–  H.I.M. Haile Selassie I – Ogaden Speech, August 25 1956