Donnerstag, 11. Juli 2013

Speech of The Day (272) - 5th Commencement Exercices of the University College of Addis Ababa

On Friday, July 11,1958, His Imperial Majesty
Haile Selassie I attended the Fifth Commencement
Exercises of the University College of
Addis Ababa. On this occasion His Imperial
Majesty handed to the students certificates &
diplomas. Below is the speech delivered by the
Emperor, who is the Chancellor of the University:

"We have observed with satisfaction the progress
achieved by Our University College during the past
year - the increase in the number of students and the
successful functioning of the Arts" Building and the
Geophysical Observatory which were inaugurated by
Us this year.
But happy as We are with these achievements, We
must all realize that progress in this or in any educational
institution does not rest solely in material accomplishments
or in the furnishing of competent academic training.
We have often referred in the past to the need for
instilling in our students that sense of social responsibility
which is of such fundamental importance in
modern society, and as you graduates leave today to
continue higher studies elsewhere, or to begin your
careers, We would like to reemphasize this principle, and
to restate the ideals of the professional life upon which
you are embarking.
A profession entails more than special training and
the acquisition of particular skills. The motive of
rendering service to others, and not the desire to amass
wealth, must hold first priority in any profession. This
is not to say that money is not essential for meeting
your needs and those of your families. However,
one must not be so overcome by the desire for riches
that he neglects the greater and nobler aim, that of
serving his country. The function of a doctor, an
engineer, a lawyer, a teacher, or any other professional
man is not to be master of others and to be served by
them. It is, rather, he who is at the disposal of his fellowmen.
A fully-educated man, closely linked to his profession
and to the people whom he serves, must put aside the
desire to acquire wealth and refuse to be swayed by the
attractions of easy life. His paramount duty is, if a
doctor, the cause of good health in the nation; if a
lawyer, the public welfare and the promotion of justice;
if a teacher, the education of his students and the harmonious
development of their personalities. A man of
any profession must remain faithful to his calling and
must sacrifice his selfish interests for the sake of those
whom he serves. The ideal doctor feels more joy at the
recovery of his patients than do those whose sufferings
he has relieved. This should be the case with each
This is the standard of professional responsibility
that is expected and indeed, demanded of you, the
graduates of 1950, (E.C.) who are to be the professionals
of tomorrow.
Last year, when We spoke to the graduating class of
this institution of the need for developing their spirit of
self-sacrifice, We made special mention of the field of
medicine, from which too many are deterred because of
the exacting preparation, the heavy responsibilities and
the constant devotion which it demands. A doctor is
not merely a skilled instrument, probing the causes and
prescribing the treatment of disease, but is also a man
serving his fellow-men, to whose cause he has dedicated
his life in a spirit of self-denial.
We need not speak in detail of the other professions
such as law, engineering or public administration, for
there is no one here who does not realize the extent to
which these as well are related to the ideal of public
In this modern day, when material goals and selfish
aims dominate the scene of human effort, this high
professional ideal of self-sacrifice and self-less devotion
to one's fellowmen may appear too remote, its demands
too servere. But man is not meant to live for himself
alone. He exists with others and for others, and it is
this sense of social consciousness which distinguishes
him from all other beings. And this goal can and will be
attained by those who realize the tremendous potential
of spiritual strength and their stay in striving ceaselessly
for the attainment of this high objective.
It is for this reason, that We have never failed to
stress to Our people the need and the value of education.
The truly educated man is endowed with a sense of
obligation to society. The potentialities of Education
are unlimited. The acquisition of knowledge and skill
class for patient learning and hard work, but without
education, a man is nothing - a promise unfulfilled,
a potential unrealized.
In the hands of those whose minds are not guided
by a basic concern for humanity, however, education
can become a dangerous and destructive weapon. We
would, accordingly, remind you of the words which We
spoke in 1947, (E.C.) when We set forth the precepts to
guide those to whom We had entrusted the responsibility
for educating Our people and described the duties and
principles to govern the way of life of an ideal teacher in
present day society.
A teacher must not pursue the fleeting pleasures
of the moment. His teaching must be designed to
develop boys and girls into loyal citizens who will respect
and cherish their own tradition and culture. Learning
without moral education is fruitless and students must be
taught that the true measure of value is not material
advantage. In acquiring modern education the student
is not to neglect his own traditions and culture, but,
must, to the contrary, respect and preserve all that
is good in the Ethiopian way of life. This is the high
standard which all teachers must establish and maintain
for themselves and by which they will be an example for
their students. If there is a failure here, there will
come a time when the emptiness of his efforts will be
Today, as We hand your diplomas to you, We would
have the following words of counsel engraved on your
minds. Be intelligent and loyal servants, men of
honour, fully conscious of the value of time, wise and
humble, ever aware of the burden of your responsibility,
willing to forget yourselves for the sake of your fellowmen.
We hope that Our University College has furnished
you with the education which will equip you to reach
this goal. We express Our gratitude to the members
of the Board of Governors, the Acting President and the
teaching staff of this institution for their devoted labours.
And to you graduates of the Class of 1950, (E.C.) we
wish you every success in your careers."

Speeches delivered by His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie Ist Emperor of Ethiopia on various occasions - page 62 -

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