“The totality of beliefs and sentiments common to the average members of a society forms a determinate system with a life of its own and is termed as the collective or common consciousness.”(Emil Durkheim)
All I hear is death, rape, drowning, imprisonment, all bad news day in day out, and are certainly all mind and thought killers. Aren’t we experiencing an extreme and generally prolonged pain; or displaying an intense mental anguish by the recurring bad news of our people? Indeed I felt helplessness, disturbed, effortlessness in the struggle to save our people. But still we have to witness and share the agony with the families of the dead. “The power of witness is enormous and we have the opportunities everyday to be a true witness”…(prov. 24:25).
While the influx of the Eritrean refugees are trekking from all directions of our nation, through our neighbor countries on their way to Western counties, hundreds of Eritreans are drowned in the Mediterranean Sea; scores of our young sisters and mothers are raped in the Sinai and other Arab countries. Yes many are perished in the Sahara desert and languished in the prisons of Libya, Egypt, and Israel.
Strangely enough the regime and his supporters have disowned our dead everywhere and every time it happened. No mourning, no tears will flow on their cheeks; no requiem and praying for a divine grace to the dead and no condolence to the families of the dead. Indeed the regime has successfully destroyed the collective conscience of our society to act together even at time of our sorrow.
In the Diaspora, we don’t seem overwhelmed by the recurrent tragic news of Eritrean refugees. This is an ongoing tragedy for more than a decade, and we are lamenting for the staggering loss individually without collective conscience. The apostles of doom rode who tried to wash away our people with fears had reached its logical extreme. Where is our collective outrage? Even tragedies that devour our young couldn’t motivate us to have a united purpose of conscience and objectives to stood and face the challenges. One could expect a seismic change implode out of this tragedy. Alas nil, nada.
When the news of the last tragedy surfaced all over our websites, one will expect our communities in every city and town will congregate for an open mourning to observe a “requiem mass” to our dead even if we don’t have their corpses for more general remembrance and sing for the virtual repose of departed souls. Those families who lost their love ones will feel emptiness without the warmth of brotherhood and sisterhood that should reflect from the observing requiem mass even from a distant place. We have lost our coherence of consciousness as a community and collective effervescence as energy to influence the rest of our society. At least our Diaspora community, have failed in this regard.
A call for Eritrean Collective conscience
David Emil Durkheim, the father of sociology (1858-1918) has coined the term “collective consciousness.” According Durkheim collective consciousness is referred to the shared beliefs and moral attitudes which operate as a unifying force within a society. Hence, it is relevant for me to use Durkheim concept as a launching pad to call for the Eritrean collective consciousness prompted by probing our passive indifference, and that without immediate centralizing our collective consciousness and vigorous determination of our citizens, will indeed couldn’t met the bitter truth so far we fail miserably.
The contemporary situation of our people in Eritrea and the refugees who are on the path to freedom are equally dreadful and dire. The forecast of the future as we stand, if it is not interrupted in a drastic manner, will inevitably turn to the worst. What is needed from each of us is to restructure our intrinsic system of functioning to change the fate of our people.
In this world of Eritreans there have always been several of opinions and ideas. You need not think alike to love alike. But there must be authentic knowledge for guidance and abundant of reasons, to upload and download the flow of our thoughts in our approach. Currently we should recognize that we are a malfunctioning community in disorder. We need a cure for our disorder. As Christos Light Weaver had put it, “the cure for full spectrum of disorder has always been full spectrum of order.” Therefore, I am searching for a light that refract into all colors of our “rainbow of Eritrean conscience”. But let me conclude and share the agony and sorrow with the family who lost their love ones in the Mediterranean Sea and elsewhere, with cold tears of sorrow and cold tears of pain using Garry Legisters’ poetry of agony:
Agony light up the soul with a bewildered glow
Tattered lives mirror the inevitable existence
Through sapping energy the sweat descend
Fire purge the heart consume with agonized flames
With blistering tragedy hope begins
Detoxifying poison in the body driven to the core
People try every way to avoid temptation
Suffocating beneath the consequences implore
The conscience is a lively fire within
The rhapsody of agony encamp in the heart
The light of happiness waiting at the door
Unveil the anguish truth will impart
With many more choice to discover