The tragedy of selfishness

Opinion by Dr. Jock Gang; Addis Ababa -Ethiopia

Saturday October 31, 2020 (SS24NEWS)


It was once upon a time lived a farmer and his wife in their farm. In the farm was a mouse, cock, ram and a bull. One day while the farmer was in the room together with his wife after coming back from the town, the mouse came in through the hole on the wall only to find them setting a MOUSETRAP. The mouse immediately ran to the cock to inform him about the mousetrap being set up in the farm thinking that his dear friend ( the cock) could do something. The cock replied: I am not a mouse, SO HOW DOES THAT CONCERN ME🤔

The mouse left the cock to the ram and inform him about the presence of the MOUSETRAP in the house and the need for an immediate action. I am a sheep, not a mouse; So how do you think the mousetrap may affect my life replied the ram ?

The mouse again rushed to inform the the bull about the presence of the mousetrap in the farm and asked him to do something before it’s too late. It was the same story he got.

Mr Mouse felt hopeless and helpless and so went back to watch the MOUSETRAP from a distance.
It was in the middle of the night in the darkness that the farmer’s wife came to check the trap after she knew it has caught something. It was a venomous snake which was hunting for the mouse that came nearby the trap.

Its tail got trapped and was struggling to free itself. Because the farmer’s wife came with no light, the snake bite her and felt sick. In the morning, the farmer decided to make soup for his sick dear wife and so slaughtered the COCK. Her sickness continued to worsen and days later some friends and family members came home to take care of her and so her husband, the farmer decided to make a delicious meal for them and so slaughtered the fat RAM. The wife’s condition continued to deteriorate and eventually died from the snakebite. Family, friends and neighbors came for the funeral and there was no option other than to slaughter the BULL which was definitely done in the watch of the MOUSE.


– Are you thinking why did each of the three friends of Mr Mouse ( the cock, ram and bull) declined to do something about the MOUSETRAP ? You too don’t need to bother yourself in this regard. They all declined to help removing or destroying the trap simply because their SELFISHNESS forced them not to do so and ended up with them in a real disaster.

SELFISHNESS is the quality of being selfish,( the condition of putting one’s own interests before those of others). It’s the cause of the tragedy that took place in the farm. Because MOUSETRAP can’t catch any of the three friends of Mr Mouse ( the cock, the ram and the bull), none of them bothered himself to throw the trap out of the farm or just step on it to make it useless and allow their friend( the mouse) live a peaceful life like anyone in the farm.

Because MOUSETRAP is a trap used to catch mice, all the three friends thought they were not mice and so the presence or absence of the trap has no effect on their daily life. They didn’t think that its absence safe a friend. Neither did they think “trouble of a friend can be a real cause of tragedy to someone”.

How safe could these wonderful friends be if the cock dragged the trap out of the farm or if the bull just stepped once on it? In fact they all could be living in state of a comprehensive peace as usual. Snake couldn’t have been caught from tail and therefore, the farmer’s wife could have been not woken up to be bitten by a snake trapped from tail by a MOUSETRAP.

She could be on her health and never need special care and diet ( the chicken’s soup). There could have been no need for their friends and relatives to stay in their house and therefore need to feed them with mutton. Life could have been normal in the farm with no funeral and need to slaughter a bull.


We fought several wars for several years against the oppression. We fought because we did not have schools, hospitals, roads, clean water, security and their likes in our region. We vigorously fought because we felt to be not equal in rights with our fellow citizens of the other part of our beloved country. We fought to live at equal level of living with equal rights to education, treatment, security, transportation, so on and so forth. Throughout the course of our struggle, we paid blood and flesh to gain land of milk and honey with its flowing Nile.


We developed SELFISHNESS and lost appetite for development. We lost the direction and the dream of building hospitals and schools or constructing roads becomes not different from the dream of providing security and clean water.

They all become day dreams and instead, our state of SELFISHNESS becomes stronger and widely spreads at speed of lightning. We drank the milk and harvested the honey for our personal benefit to build mansions outside our borders, take our kids to the world’s top schools, drive them in luxurious cars and feed them something more delicious than kisra and kodura.

Our competition in wealth acquisition in the shortest time possible became higher and so did our differences in the mechanism of looting. We did not give attention to the consequences, but instead, resorted to violent. We fought vigorously, distructed the little we had and lost life at a rate faster than that of the 21-years of struggle.

We turned our home into arshes and reduced our people to below the level of a human being. Our currency becomes less than a toilet paper and sold out the houses we built beyond our borders. Our children dropped out from the top class schools and we can’t afford to maintain them in the refugee schools under the trees, where V8s are useless.

The God of our land touched the hearts of our neighbors who heard the cry of our beloved nation. They forced us to come together to negotiate and ink protocols, yet our appetite is still too low for their implementation despite the ongoing deterioration of everything we have.

There should have been a school, health facility and police station at every corner. Our roads to the rural areas should have been paved and 24-hours functioning. We all should be engaged in farming, fishing, herding and mining.

Our accounts in the Nile Commercial and Ivory banks could be busting with high value South Sudanese pounds. Our Bank of South Sudan should have been the hub of hard currency in the region. Dollar should have never been the best selling commodity in our markets.

Kony-konyo and Jebel would have remained our biggest markets, not the black market.Paying 100 dollar should have been the simplest thing our students can do in the University of Juba without help from their parents . We should be receiving and accommodating refugees from our beloved neighbors instead. Our dignity should have never been lost in the eyes of our neighbors and beyond the borders.


Could it not be better to abandon our differences, drop our SELFISHNESS and come together as brothers to implement the peace protocols in letter and spirit at a lightning speed to save our distorted images and restore the dignity of our beloved people??


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