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VICES THAT CAN DESTROY A NATION By Haben Zeray “ I am what I am because of who we all are” Mahatma Gandhi “Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions;


By Haben Zeray

“ I am what I am because of who we all are” Mahatma Gandhi

“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.” Lao Tzu

  1. 1.    STORED ANGER OR RESENTMENT (kiim in Tigrigna)

This quote by Lao Tzu can also be applied for positive behaviors as well. If you respect others and others will respect you.  It is interesting how that works.  Try it. Find the best in people and praise them.  Commend them for their good contributions and say good things about them with your friends and think the best of them.  The result is contagious.  You will immediately find out all the good things you said and did will end up coming back to you multiplied.  Life gives you back what you offer.  Thoughts become words, and words become action, and action end up to be a habit and once a habit gets repeated you have found what defines you best.  You become a respectful man or woman and people begin to trust and be attracted to you.

On the contrary, and I am not going to tell you to try this because you can see it all round you.  Disrespect begets disrespect.  If you are angry around your children and friends you will be surrounded with anger.  If you spew hate and resentment, you will be hated and resented guaranteed.  And if you are going around belittle ling others people, they will in return belittle you.  In other words, in the same way we produced a respected individual above, we end up having an angry man or woman in this scenario.  Reverend Desmond M. Tutu of South Africa said it best, “If I diminish you, I diminish myself.”

Allow me to dwell a little bit on the subject of stored anger simply because this character has destroyed a lot of people both mentally and physically, plus its contagious effect gets multiplies to even affect a whole nation . If you don’t talk it out, anger settles inside you and becomes resentment. It begins to grow over time and begins to expand like a balloon. An unsettled  anger is like a sack of poison inside you.  Soon you will begin to leak or explode.  When anger leaks your emotions get affected and your body gets stressed out,  bottom line you are not a healthy individual both physically and mentally .  Many times stored anger manifests itself in jerk reactions. To be angry is okay if you deal with it quickly, otherwise, you become an angry or resentful person. Resentful people explode. Stay away from them, unless you are able to help them.  When explosion occurs there is no rationality and can lead to an extremely regretful set of circumstances. You destroy yourself and harm or even destroy others as well. Don’t wait until your anger begins to leak or explode. Have peace with yourself and others by dealing with every episode of anger as soon as it happens.

Let me give an illustration.  Lets say the words that we utter are like rivers that initiate in our thoughts and make their way out “through” our tongues.  Some rivers are clean and give life. Take Mereb river of Eritrea, as an example. Mereb becomes Tekeeze in Ethiopia and becomes Blue Nile in the Sudan. Everywhere you go this river is a source of life, wealth and health.  Whereas, those familiar with MaayBella,  in the years it was flowing, the water was filthy and was a source of sickness. You grow lush vegetables but once you consume anything fed by this river you will be sick. In the same way grudges held for long produces a flow of hatred  and evil deeds. Have you ever seen an angry man or woman? They are angry over anything that shows up. You can even say nice things to them and think you are insulting them or disrespecting them and want to fight you.  This person has stored anger or for too long, that is why his/her character is labeled as an angry person. He/she is leaking big time! and if not helped will explode.

Have you seem people who can withstand heated discussions and they seem calm  almost any time. Follow them, you will find out they don’t hold grudges and are at peace with themselves and with people around them.  The universe pays you back what you put out, abundantly.

  1. 2.    PRIDE

I shudder  and cringe, when I hear people try to find a place in society by demeaning other people or races.  They think if they put-down others  they suddenly create an image of themselves that is better than those people that they put down. The good book calls this “pride” and God said, there are seven sins he hates most and “pride” happens to be number one.   The prediction is you will “fall”, because “pride comes before fall”.   This is also contagious and creates an inflated sense of one-self and when multiplied creates a group of people who belittle others.

No one has the right to undermine or scold God’s creation.  He made us of different races, colors, ethnicity etc.. and to collectively call people in a derogatory manner  is playing with fire and going against the one who made them.   This is pride and the result is “ fall”. This principal is true for individuals and is also true for nations.  People not tolerating   other people’s opinion and going out of their way to undermine and insult others  can only result in weakening one-self and your community.  Try debating and coming up with a better idea, instead of labeling those who may not like your idea with false names and unwarranted accusations.   For an Eritrean to go around and display the attitude that he/she is better than others is to forget to see yourself on the mirror.  The better approach would be to build a better nation yourself first and then, speak out of your achievements even brag, at least you have something to show for it.


The PFDJ party  of Eritrea is a philosophy of inflated ego who tries to define itself by undermining others. The party is a liability because its net-worth is negative (its evils far outweighs its meager good). It produces more unhappy people, more suffering, more injustice and poverty with its failed philosophy.  The Eritrean government is militaristic and dictatorial whose focus is to work day and night to suppress  and  to attain a one-man rule with complete disregard for its people. Their system does not work, we have seen it for  22 years.  You cannot make individuals (example, educated people) and nations around you smaller than you just by propaganda and by “mightier and holier than you” attitude. You cannot win friends around the world using the only governmental TV (EreTV) to broadcast hate and resentment against almost all neighbors and Super-Powers.  PFDJ cannot go against activists who try to help those suffering in unfortunate places like the Sinai desert, Malta and expect them to be respected by the very people they are trying to rule. Their actions will only produce poverty and ignorance.  PFDJ sides with evil and brutally punishes “the good” and the result can only be a system not fit for human decency.


Eritrean government has forgotten its creator and will not succeed in what they do. This was true for the Soviet Union, true for North Korea and was true for all those nations that decided to depend on their own might and ignore the power of the creator.  PFDJ’s basic philosophy has been to believe in “Dialectical Materialism” since the inception of EPLF in the early 1970’s.  Everything happens through the struggle of opposites. Dialectical materialism maintains the view that the world is matter in motion. “Matter as objective reality cannot be created; it is eternal and infinite”.  This philosophy denies the existence of a creator or God. PFDJ have shown their indifference to religion and even had persecuted people of faith with utter disrespect and without offering the persecuted a day in court.  This deed is counter-productive whether you believe in God or not.  PFDJ is a system that goes against humans and humans will overtly or covertly oppose it. This philosophy only leads to poverty, ignorance and cult-like bondage.



What shall we do then?  If you are an Eritrean and love Eritrea, Each of us should  look ourselves on the mirror.  This is because people possessed with “pride” have a blind spot, they cannot see pride in themselves, only other people can be their mirror and hence a need to dialogue,  listen and tolerate each other.  Humble yourself before your fellow man and God.  Deal with your stored anger peacefully.  Yes, as Eritreans we do have multiple reasons to be angry at foreign and internal enemies for we were undeniably betrayed for generations. We need town hall meetings to advocate peace and reconciliation among ourselves.  We need to start a process to heal all the wounds of the past and build a future that is desirable for us and our future generation. The government can steal our freedom but as people we should not let it steal our dignity until we get our freedom back.  The government can succeed to make us poor but we should not let them break our spirit.  Our Dignity, our confidence and experience stays  with us if we refuse to give-in.

“ I am what I am because of who we all are” Mahatma Gandhi

Review overview
  • Kokhob selam May 31, 2013

    That was very nice. I can’t wait to see it practically from assena foundation. in this case you will have to see where your mistakes were in the past and take care of your words. you see now, when you say things that lead to peace and understanding you get the credit. When you say words that divide people you get what you deserve. take care and you will get love in return.

  • luna May 31, 2013


    What you stated in your article is life giving. These are rare words ‘Eritreans’ need to hear more of and with frequency. An invitation for a “town hall meetings” is a breath of fresh air to all peace loving Eritreans. Advocating for peace and reconciliation would place a crown to top it.
    When such healing is allowed to take place freedom and dignity will be the end product. To choose to decide take our place around a table in a dialogue is a dream come true. I wait with great expectation to see that happen.
    We Eritreans have waited for far too long for such an understanding to occur. For quite sometime, peace and the prospects of peace have become very elusive to us all.

    Now, let us come face-to-face against the demons of our past and present. Shame and ridicule them in the halls and corridors of power, on the streets and in market places. So that there is no room for them to play their dirty tricks once again like in the past. Do not allow them to bury there head in the sand. Go all the way through!

    We need to heal the wounds of the past to build a future. Nation building happens when we think about tomorrow with the future generation in our mind.
    Let us not slumber letting tyrants steal our freedom and dignity. As people we should not kneel to the forces of injustice, corruption, propaganda and lies. Let us break the silence which has become a shroud covering the minds of our eyes. Above all, remain true to the price paid for liberation and freedom with the blood of our martyrs. It is not a slogan repeated with empty emotions only.

    Not only do we equate the nation by its multitudes. Also, we must value each and every Eritrean with its own ‘unique’ individuality and with what one brings in contribution to the process of nation building. No one single individual is better than the other in its place in our society. Each is part of a member of the body and as such has its own function.

    Keep the light burning and victory is for the masses.

  • sam May 31, 2013

    i would like to thank u haben for the timly word for our nation,the word of god says ABGZIU ZZREB KALKNDEY TSBUK EYU proverbs ,as a nation we have long way to go,our nation has big problem or i will call it curse,one of our curse that need to be broken is ,that which comes from past generation that hold us in bondage for example some of our cultures even our religion for most of us ,we keep saying ABOTATEY ZETSNHULEY but we are different generation from our forefathers we are more educated more travelled ,more informed etc,the bigest mstake we make is we try to live by their nowledge,and anather thing is that we need to understand is,life is challenge(what we become it depends on what we over come)so we we need to be ready to challeng our poletical,spritual social problemsto become what we want to be, we can’t just excuse o my leader is like that or if things was like that i would be like this,the only way out is challenge challenge challenge, if we dont challenge thats were all the problems are all the recentment heatred, gurge, all the negetive things the(curse) is,we need to overcome the negative to be on osetiveif not our problem, our negativity, our curse will multiply rapidly, and we could be indager as a nation if we carry on the way we goingare going

  • Ghenet June 1, 2013

    you are a pride to all eritrean people. You have stated facts that have eluded the minds of many eritreans. The fact that we have to look at ourselves before judging others is one, the most important, of them.
    Thank you.

  • kemal June 1, 2013

    Thank you Haben, I really appreciate for the positive inputs you are making. This time our problems lies around our mind thinking and perceptions which in the long run of course lead us to a much worse actions and a vicious circle of try and error.Hope your dedication might help us all in the long run.

  • Hangofay June 2, 2013

    Thank you brother Haben,
    May I start by suggesting a little change to your title. “Vices that are destroying our country”
    You have not only identified our problems, but also came up with solution “Town Hall meeting”. All I can is say let’s do it. There is a need to convey”The positive behaviour” we are missing in our community and how to reach out with the message is getting easier because of technology. Keep it flowing like the “river” in yor illustration and you will help cleanse the filth of pride, which is of course from evil.

  • Truly, truly i say to you June 2, 2013

    This is simply one of the best article i ever read. For that i would like to thank much the writer Haben Zeray for very teachable and useful article first. In my side as bad luck i see it the whole scenario, because we Eritreans have too ignorants, cruel, and negative thinker as leaders specially sick and with evil spirit filled a negative and destructive head of state man, i am not that much will surprise if the rest of Eritrean citzens also be sick and developing a negative character like you mentioned sense of anger, resentment, hatter, craziness,ignorance etc, because it is known since anyone´s head of a family leader, or it be any work place, or even it be as nation level the rulers head since are wicked and ignorant, it is known the rest of familly members also as will develop same sense of negativity charterer, uncultivated culture such as you mentioned above, ignorance, anger resentment because the foundation is negative un healthy and ignorant. This will be continuing , unless the people with strong fight try to change their bad destiny, to replace it with a healthy positive thinking cultivate society.