Selassie's speech on Work
by , translated by Haile Selassie I Press
Every labourer is a father, his labour is his child. Choose your project carefully and achieve it worthily.
Once a person has decided upon his life work and is assured that in doing the work for which he is best endowed and equipped, he is filling a vital need, what he then needs, is faith and integrity, compiled with courageous spirit so that no longer preferring himself to the fulfilment of his task, he may address himself to the problems he must solve in order to be effective.
Rich and poor have always existed and always will.
Why? Because there are those that work and those that don't, those that wish to earn their living and those that prefer to do nothing.
Those that work, that want to work, are not poor. For it is true that Our Lord the Creator sends us into the world as equals, but it is also true that when one is born one is neither rich nor poor. One is naked.
It is later on that one becomes rich or poor, according to one's desserts.
Yes, we too are aware that giving alms serves no useful purpose. For there is only one means to solve the poverty problem. work.
We have said that whoever doesn't work because he doesn't want to is poor. We have said that wealth has to be gained through hard work. We have said those who don't work starve. And now We add that the capacity to earn depends on the individual: Each individual is responsible for his misfortunes, his fate. It is wrong to expect help to fall from above, as a gift: Wealth has to be deserved. Work is one of the commandments of Our Lord the Creator!
If each and everyone endeavours to cooperate and work in as much as his capacity permits, our faith rests upon the Almighty God that he would bless the results for us.
It is not sufficient simply to see and admire the natural beauty and fertility of Ethiopia.
It is our obligation to work upon and benefit from this country whose fertile soil has been granted us by the Almighty God. We have to gain honour and pride for the country.
Whatever the task may be, man may begin it but he cannot complete it, unless God sustains and supports him. If he fails to accomplish the task on which he has set out, having worked to the best of his ability, he is not to be maligned by being called lazy.
|This is a translation and has a separate copyright status from the original text. The license for the translation applies to this edition only.|