Are you Listening, Merera Gudina? Marriage Is a Pillar of Happiness!

By Belayneh Abate

One of the talking points last week was Merera Gudina’s unmarried life. Let us use this opportunity to learn about the relationship between marriage and other factors with the well-being or happiness of a nation.

Despite its up and down paths, marriage is considered as one of the pillars of happiness in any society. It is understandable if the victims of the Ethiopian Feminist Movement (EFM) refute this claim with an astounding “NO”.  In fact, married Ethiopian couples should sing the “God Have Mercy” song since the former spy and the current pastor ruler installed the builder of the misguided EFM as the chief of Supreme Court Injustice. This injustice system, infamous for destroying the lives of thousands of families, has turned deaf ears when millions were displaced, thousands killed, and two dozen banks were robbed.  Happiness completely vanishes from the horizons of a nation when citizens work for this kind of failed government, and their homes are ignited with EFM induced fire and burn like Hell.

Scientific studies have found marriage as one of the major factors of happiness. After reviewing hundreds of researches and books, the former Harvard president, Derek Bok, identified six pillars of well-being or happiness in societies. These six pillars are marriage, social relationships, employment, health, religion and democratic-just government. [1]

As we know, the bible teaches about the importance of marriage and warns about the dangers of unmarried life.  For example, Genesis 2:24 instructs, “therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall join to his wife: and they shall be one flesh. Similarly, 1 Corinthians 7:2, teaches, “Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.”

For readers who had taken classes of chemistry or physics, unmarried man is like the outer most electron of an atom. Like the negatively charged outermost electron, unmarried man is unstable and gets attracted by strongly positively charged particles. This unstable man may experience temporary happiness by attaching his negatively charged part to a strongly positive particle, but he will never harvest long-term happiness.

The association of long term happiness with marriage has been studied for centuries, and it now well established and incorporated in different types of social programs. In fact, the concept of happiness is getting popular and some governments are using Gross National Happiness (GNH) as a measure of national growth in addition to the Gross National Product (GDP). [1]

The dean of American Scholars, Ed Diener defined happiness as experiences in life satisfaction, frequent joy, and infrequent sadness and anger. [2] Similarly, after reviewing the works of Western and Eastern thinkers, philosopher Will Buckingham divided happiness as short-term (pleasure) and long-term (flourishing) happiness.  According to Buckingham, pleasure is a type of happiness which is subjective, immediate, emotional and not necessarily related to moral, ethics or political questions. On the other hand, flourishing happiness is a type of happiness, which is objective, long-lasting, evaluative and clearly concerned with moral and ethical questions. [3]

For me, what Buckingham called pleasure is the type of instinct happiness that humans share with other animals such as pigs and cattle. For example, the short term happiness that humans experience from having good meal and sexual encounter are similar to the short term happiness the pigs and hyenas experience when they have good meals and sexual encounters. On the other hand, the flourishing happiness differentiates humans from other animals. Although some anthropologists may disagree, only humans are capable of harvesting life- long happiness from ethical and moralistic deeds.

Marriage provides both pleasure and flourishing happiness. The unmarried Merera Gudina might have experienced his short term pleasure outside of marriage, but he definitely have failed to harvest the fruits of flourishing happiness from the institution of marriage. It does not mean, though, Merera lacks life- long happiness. In fact, he could be one of the very few relatively straightforward politicians who is enjoying flourishing happiness because he tried to live ethical and moralistic life scarifying his time, work and comfort to establish a better government, which is another pillar of societal happiness.

Marriage has special place in the biblical teachings of the Holy Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church. According to the Tewahido teachings, anyone but monks should lead a married life. Monks are not supposed to lead a married life because they are considered as “walking dead bodies.” In other words, for a man to become a monk, first he has to kill his physical body. To kill his physical body, the candidate monk passes through the series paths of fasting and prayers. Once the physical body is dead, it is buried form toe to neck to symbolize the death of the flesh and to complete the process of ordination. As anyone could expect, this kind of dead flesh does not seek short term happiness or pleasure: It craves only for flourishing pleasure such as salvation, truth and love.

In order to facilitate their achievement of flourishing pleasure, the Tewahido church instructs the monks to live only in solitude and come out to the public rarely when God orders them to announce something crucial to his children. Unfortunately, these biblical church rules and laws have been completely broken for the last 28 years. As a result, unqualified cadres and even criminals are becoming monks and  you see them watching  topless model girls with bikini in New York, Los Angeles, London, Addis Ababa and other big cities. When monks watch these kinds of earthly adventures, their dead bodies sneak out of the grave like rats and salivate to enjoy pleasure at the expense of flourishing happiness.

It is palpable that the unqualified monks, bishops, and patriarchies that crave for short-term pleasure are weakening the strength of the more than two thousand old church. Similarly, it is well know that unqualified politicians that crave for short term pleasure such money, power, fame, pictures, cars, houses, and sex are demolishing the strength and dignity of the more than four thousand years old Ethiopia. Ethiopia and its Tewahido church will rise again only when God places them in the hands of citizens that crave for flourishing happiness defying the short-lasting pleasures.  Ethiopia will never gain its former dignity while she is swallowed by chameleons that change colors to achieve short-term pleasures.

Similar to the real monks that live in solitudes, never married politicians do not fully understand the hardships of establishing families and raising children. One can argue that robber married politicians, who spend millions for jewelries and raise their kids luxuriously with public funds will never understand the hardships of establishing families and raising children as well.

At any rate, because unmarried or robber politicians do not understand the hardships of establishing families, they could encounter difficulties in solving the problems of societies. Therefore, married and long-term happiness craving citizens should be elected for public offices. From what we have seen so far, Merera Gudina seems a flourishing happiness craving man, but he has to tie the knot to be stable and to do his job as a public servant. In this era of enhancement, Merera is not too late to find his better-half from one of the ribs of his chest.

Hurry up Merrera Gudina! Are you listening or still hiding in the liberation of congress?

End notes:

  1. Derek Bok, the Politics of Happiness, What Government Can Learn From the New Research on Well-Being, 2011 Edition
  2. ED Diener, The Remarkable Changes in the Science of Subjective Well-Being https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1745691613507583
  3. Will Buckingham, Happiness, a practical guide, 2012 edition

 

The writer can be reached at abatebelai@yahoo.com

June10, 2019 European

4 COMMENTS

  1. Dear Belayneh Abate,
    As they say, you are punching above your weight. You are no psychologist, no theologian, and no political scientist. A single case (unmarried Dr. Merera) could not be a reasonable way to illustrate or address the role of family in society. To point out from the same Bible you referred to the apostle Paul was unmarried! And he remained single by choice (so he could fulfill his calling without the burden of taking care of a family). Regarding Paul’s joy (different from happiness), read his letter to the Philippians. Please stop making a fool of yourself about the happiness you are recommending to others!

  2. It is very shameful and immoral to write in public about someone’s wake private life without an explicit authorization of the subject. It amounts to judgement which also is listed in the Bible as great sin. Each one of us we do not know why we take a different path of life and that is part of life. Some may choose their life path out of satisfaction some others carve out difficulty and some just out what the creator have planned for them. Either way diving into once personal life is tabloid news, low and do not need attention or analysis that you put so much unless you have ulterior motive or hate for the man. However different his view he probably spent good chunk of his life for betterment of many life’s. You can agree to disagree with his political views but what you have done is low and unethical. I myself did not know he was single until I read your article but I do not care neither. But you basically spread personal information publicly like the tabloids. On the other hand he may have done it out of personal choice or a selfless choice of dedication to others and that is a great human virtue.

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