\”The point is, there is no feasible excuse for what we have made of ourselves. We have chosen to put profits before people, money before morality, dividends before decency, fanaticism before fairness, and our own trivial comforts before the unspeakable agonies of others\” ~ Iain Banks

As I write this blog entry, I have been unwillingly displaced from my home to work on this and many other items as for the past three days we have been without electricity. We put in a claim with the relevant EEPCO office in our neighborhood and this morning they made a stop as per the claim made and confirmed that an electric line had snapped. Yet I find myself in a café on the other side of town still because they were unable to fix it. Not because the problem was difficult. But because they did not come with a ladder!

I am baffled. Does a Doctor show up on the call of duty without her stethoscope? A student to class without his notebook? A gardener to cut grass without his scissors? A mechanic to fix a car without her wrench? An ambulance to a site of an accident without a stretcher, gauze, a nurse?

I am still baffled.

Not because this incident is unique. But it has become one of many instances where I have come to increasingly question our collective urban mindsets. In our rise to what we understand as “modernity”, where have we misplaced our sense of responsibility and duty to what we have taken up? As our nation pumps out a growing number of graduates that our economy is not able to absorb and provide for gainful employment, some of the ones who have lucked out in this regard wither away and degenerate in complicit inefficiency while some astound in their level of commitment. Yet I am saddened that the ones who astound remain the exception than the rule.  New graduates ask me to support them in finding employment through my network and I’m often curious about their level of commitment and the level of their complicity to carelessness.

On Sunday, October 19th I was in attendance at the 2014 AWiB Women of Excellence Gala where a member asked the women of excellence what motivates them to deliver and to function each morning in the face of many challenges. Bogalech Gebre, one of the women being celebrated that evening, replied rhetorically “what other option do I have?” Zemi Yenus, another woman of excellence asked, “If I don’t do it, who will?

How do we inculcate such a disposition in citizenry where the cost of not stepping up to responsibility and the call of duty far outweighs the cost of sweating a little to deliver what we are called upon? How do we extract the venom of complicity to negligence where our education systems seem to be injecting just that?

How do we check our own complicity in sustaining the status quo of recklessness that seems to have permeated our collective mindsets and that makes us forget the “ladder” where our job specifically requires us to have it?

Don’t tell me divine intervention, because even that has escaped us!