This is, in a way, a response to the thread about negative feelings toward Selassie by many Ethiopians, however, I feel it is, in it's own way, an independent issue. Check this and take it to heart.
After reading about people thinking Selassie was a bad leader and reading the reasonings on this site, questions about Selassie and His reign were swimming around in my head for days. I went over to Ark I's place and reasoned a bit with him, which settled my mind a bit, just hearing things from an educated Rasta face-to-face, but I knew I really needed to hear first hand from a non-Rasta who lived through Selassie's reign.
It was after midnight last Wednesday or Thursday. I was going home after visiting my girlfriend. We were at a pub and had a couple pints of Guinness and chilled. When I was getting off the TTC at Sherbourne station, after having been totally fixated on the fact that people dispised Almighty God so much that they brutally murdered his I-ncarnation, not once, but TWICE, I noticed that the only other person getting off the train, going to the same exit I was, was a man, probably in his mid to late 60s, who, coincidentally, looked a good deal like Haile Selassie. I got a really good vibe from him when he made eye contact with InI, so I decided to make conversation with him.
I asked if he is Ethiopian, and he said he is from Eritrea, and that Ethiopia is his neighbour. I told him I am a Rastafarian. 'Ah,' he said. 'Are you Jamaican?' This comment gave me a unique mix of emotion. I wouldn't say it was to the point where I was impressed or flattered that he had an idea of what Rastafari was, because I had expected he would know. Also, I found it a bit humourous that he would ask, in full honesty, if I was Jamaican, because a) I haven't a West Indian accent and b) I'm a mix of European and Native American blood and so I really don't look Jamaican. So I told him that I wasn't, and he smiled and nodded.
I asked if I could ask him a question, and it seemed to I like he already knew what the question was. He answered 'yes' in a very gracious tone. And so I replied, 'I have read and heard that many Ethiopians did not like Selassie. They felt like he ignored much of Ethiopia and that He did not care about His people. What do you think about this?'
Although I didn't ask all I wanted to ask in my question, he answered everything and probably more than I would have thought to ask.
He said, 'Haile Selassie was a great king. He was very hard working and cared about a lot about His people. But one can never please everybody. There are always going to be two sides. That is how the world works. It is divided up that way. Some people do not look at what they have, they only look at what they don't have. And when you focus on what you don't have, you don't feel like you have anything. But Selassie was a good king. He was very well loved by the entire world. He is what they called a charismatic king. Very powerful, very inspirational. He did the best that He could. He made Ethiopia much better. And after they killed Him, it has been horrible. Just chaos. Ethiopia was at its best when Selassie reigned.'
These words, though simple, I find to be so beautiful, so real, and so true. I thanked the man (we never exchanged names) for talked to InI, and said goodbye, and for JAH to bless him. Though his english was not so great, he understood everything I said and I understood everything he said. When walking home from the subway, I looked to the sky, chanted 'JAH- RASTAFARI!', asked JAH for His blessing upon that man, upon InI, and upon all Rastafari and all humanity and creation.
So that's how it is- the world is divided up into those who appreciate what they have, and those who want more. If the people who supported the Derg had given thanks for what they had, they would not have torn their country to shreds, bringing upon famine, war, and chaos.
Give thanks to the Most High- JAH Rastafari.