Light Up Your Good Deeds

“It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” ~ Chinese Proverb 

The month of April brought sad news to our nation as Ethiopians faced execution, burning and all sorts of dehumanizing fate in the places where they fled to get a refuge.   Some social media users changed their profile pictures into darkness to express their sorrow.  I also noticed some put one candle lighting the darkness. The candle light profile picture grabbed my attention because it symbolized both the power of darkness and yet a single light lifting the darkness. The candle light signified for me that darkness can be overcome by expositing light into it.

On May Annual Forum, AWiB celebrated its fifth anniversary and we were taken back to reflect what light we shade to remove the darkness of disempowerment.   In the past five years, we brought twenty-two women of excellence in to the light to be celebrated and we brought them to be spotlighted that these are some of the few women known for their excellence.  The younger generation no longer needs to seek role models from outside the country for we have women whom we can learn and emulate excellence from. We now have people who walked through making huge differences in the lives of their communities and impacting the country.

AWiB put the light of networking as the best way to make business, enrich friendship and share ideas that can transform our lives as well as the nation.  AWiB created transformative space for people to reflect and see gaps, dream big and look for possibilities, work on personal and professional development.  The website www.awib.org.et is a hub of ideas, knowledge and experience shared.  That is a space for us to read and use to transform our lives.

Since 2010, about sixty monthly meetings were conducted starting at Panaroma Hotel continued at Hilton.  Every first Thursday of the month is dedicated to exchanging ideas, opportunities, possibilities, and friends.  It is through connections that we can elevate our business to its highest level.   It is through this platform we find like-minded people who think bigger than their own circumstances.  AWiB also created a forum for the nation to deliberate, talk issues of concern by inviting prominent speakers that stimulate our thinking every year- the May forum. The fifth year is celebrated with pride.

AWiB invites women to be members for women leadership is the core for national growth and development.  Providing self-confidence classes once a month, having round-table discussions every other week and spurring one another to good deeds are another ways to light up the darkness of disempowerment.

About a year ago my daughter made a speech at Toast Masters on the power of good over evil.  She brought a bucket of water and poured on a glass of dirty water full of mud.   She demonstrated that the polluted water would be replaced when we keep on pouring purified water on the contaminated one.  She kept on pouring and pouring the clean water until the glass of water was replaced by the purified one.  It took time and persistence but she finally managed to clear the dark and dirty water by pouring the clean water until all the dirt was removed from the glass.

This taught me a couple of lessons about life too.

1) It takes time and consistent efforts to purify any polluted life.

2) Only good can eliminate evil.

I see similar analogy to the light I was talking about AWiB.  Hundreds of years of gender inequalities cannot be uprooted with few seminar or dialogues.  Consistent efforts, shading light to impossibilities of darkness, discussing and applying lessons however will do the eventual magic of empowered women who are themselves and broken their fences of impossibilities.

The second lesson is, as clean water is what replaced the polluted one, only light can remove darkness.   I see AWiB shining and calling others to join the AWiB movement to increase the power of the candle light to megawatt electricity as we work collaboratively on personal, business, community development and contribute to national development and maximized impact.

AWiB’s light did not shine without effort.  Much burning took place to keep the light shining.  Committed founders, willing board members and volunteers, vision imparted partners and others who have spent their valuable time, money and efforts to let the light on.  AWiB believes that this is the only way the nation shines as women are empowered to take the lead of their own lives, families, businesses, communities, as well as the nation.

I mistakenly wrote ‘AWiB is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary’ instead of its fifth.   My slip of tongue (in this case finger) may be my wish to see AWiB with its shining role models that millions of Ethiopian young men and women can emulate from.  I may not be physically alive to see that day but thinking how our present road will take us to our destiny warms my heart as if the fifties birthday is celebrated and I would like to invite many to be part of history in the making.

AWiB is not sitting down and cursing the generation of deeply rooted gender inequality.  Rather, she is taking active role in shining light into the darkness of poverty rooted in disempowerment.

Are you sitting down and cursing the darkness or lighting up by taking individual responsibility to do good?