Haile Selassie quotes

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Haile Selassie

Birthdate: 23. July 1892
Date of death: 27. August 1975
Other names: Negus Hailè Selassiè I

Haile Selassie I was Ethiopian regent from 1916 to 1930 and emperor from 1930 to 1974. He is a defining figure in Ethiopian history.He was a member of the Solomonic Dynasty who traced his lineage to Emperor Menelik I via his Shewan royal ancestors as a great-grandson of king Sahle Selassie. Haile Selassie's father was Makonnen Wolde-Mikael Gudessa and his mother was Yeshimebet Ali Aba Jifar .

His internationalist views led to Ethiopia becoming a charter member of the United Nations, and his political thought and experience in promoting multilateralism and collective security have proved seminal and enduring. At the League of Nations in 1936, the emperor condemned the use of chemical weapons by Italy against his people during the Second Italo–Ethiopian War.His suppression of rebellions among the landed aristocracy , which consistently opposed his reforms, as well as what some critics perceived to be Ethiopia's failure to modernize rapidly enough, earned him criticism among some contemporaries and historians. During his rule the Harari people were ethnically cleansed from the Harari Region. His regime was also criticized by human rights groups, such as Human Rights Watch, as autocratic and illiberal.Among the Rastafari movement, whose followers are estimated to number between 700,000 and one million, Haile Selassie is revered as the returned messiah of the Bible, God incarnate. Beginning in Jamaica in the 1930s, the Rastafari movement perceives Haile Selassie as a messianic figure who will lead a future golden age of eternal peace, righteousness, and prosperity. Haile Selassie was an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian throughout his life.

The 1973 famine in Ethiopia led to Haile Selassie's eventual removal from the throne. He died on 27 August 1975 at the age of 83, following a coup d'état.

„The preservation of peace and the guaranteeing of man's basic freedoms and rights require courage and eternal vigilance: courage to speak and act — and if necessary, to suffer and die — for truth and justice; eternal vigilance, that the least transgression of international morality shall not go undetected and unremedied.
These lessons must be learned anew by each succeeding generation, and that generation is fortunate indeed which learns from other than its own bitter experience.“

—  Haile Selassie

Address to the United Nations (1963)
Context: The Charter of the United Nations expresses the noblest aspirations of man: abjugation of force in the settlement of disputes between states; the assurance of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion; the safeguarding of international peace and security.
But these, too, as were the phrases of the Covenant, are only words; their value depends wholly on our will to observe and honour them and give them content and meaning. The preservation of peace and the guaranteeing of man's basic freedoms and rights require courage and eternal vigilance: courage to speak and act — and if necessary, to suffer and die — for truth and justice; eternal vigilance, that the least transgression of international morality shall not go undetected and unremedied.
These lessons must be learned anew by each succeeding generation, and that generation is fortunate indeed which learns from other than its own bitter experience. This Organization and each of its members bear a crushing and awesome responsibility: to absorb the wisdom of history and to apply it to the problems of the present, in order that future generations may be born, and live, and die, in peace.

„There is no single magic formula, no one simple step, no words, whether written into the Organization's Charter or into a treaty between states, which can automatically guarantee to us what we seek.“

—  Haile Selassie

Address to the United Nations (1963)
Context: There is no single magic formula, no one simple step, no words, whether written into the Organization's Charter or into a treaty between states, which can automatically guarantee to us what we seek. Peace is a day-to day problem, the product of a multitude of events and judgments. Peace is not an "is", it is a "becoming." We cannot escape the dreadful possibility of catastrophe by miscalculation. But we can reach the right decisions on the myriad subordinate problems which each new day poses, and we can thereby make our contribution and perhaps the most that can be reasonably expected of us in 1963 to the preservation of peace.
It is here that the United Nations has served us — not perfectly, but well.

„The progress of science can be said to be harmful to religion only in so far as it is used for evil aims and not because it claims a priority over religion in its revelation to man. It is important that spiritual advancement must keep pace with material advancement.“

—  Haile Selassie

Interview in The Voice of Ethiopia (5 April 1948).
Context: The progress of science can be said to be harmful to religion only in so far as it is used for evil aims and not because it claims a priority over religion in its revelation to man. It is important that spiritual advancement must keep pace with material advancement. When this comes to be realized man's journey toward higher and more lasting values will show more marked progress while the evil in him recedes into the background. Knowing that material and spiritual progress are essential to man, we must ceaselessly work for the equal attainment of both. Only then shall we be able to acquire that absolute inner calm so necessary to our well-being.
It is only when a people strike an even balance between scientific progress and spiritual and moral advancement that it can be said to possess a wholly perfect and complete personality and not a lopsided one.

„This age above all ages is a period in history when it should be our prime duty to preach the Gospel of Grace to all our fellow men and women.“

—  Haile Selassie

Address to the World Evangelical Congress in Berlin (28 October 1966).
Context: This age above all ages is a period in history when it should be our prime duty to preach the Gospel of Grace to all our fellow men and women. The love shown in Christ by our God to mankind should constrain all of us who are followers and disciples of Christ to do all in our power to see to it that the Message of Salvation is carried to those of our fellows for whom Christ Our Saviour was sacrificed but who have not had the benefit of hearing the good news. Since nobody can interfere in the realm of God we should tolerate and live side by side with those of other faiths.

„Democracy, republics: What do these words signify?“

—  Haile Selassie

Interview with Oriana Fallaci in The Chicago Tribune (24 June 1973).
Context: Democracy, republics: What do these words signify? What have they changed in the world? Have men become better, more loyal, kinder? Are the people happier? All goes on as before, as always. Illusions, illusions. Besides, one should consider the interest of a nation before subverting it with words. Democracy is necessary in some cases and We believe some African peoples might adopt it. But in other cases it is harmful, a mistake.

„It is my duty to inform the Governments assembled in Geneva, responsible as they are for the lives of millions of men, women and children, of the deadly peril which threatens them, by describing to them the fate which has been suffered by Ethiopia.“

—  Haile Selassie

Address to the League of Nations (1936)
Context: It is my duty to inform the Governments assembled in Geneva, responsible as they are for the lives of millions of men, women and children, of the deadly peril which threatens them, by describing to them the fate which has been suffered by Ethiopia. It is not only upon warriors that the Italian Government has made war. It has above all attacked populations far removed from hostilities, in order to terrorize and exterminate them.

„Education is a means of sharpening the mind of man both spiritually and intellectually. It is a two-edged sword that can be used either for the progress of mankind or for its destruction.“

—  Haile Selassie

University Graduation address (2 July 1963), published in Important Utterances of H. I. M. Emperor Haile Selassie I, 1963-1972 (1972), p. 22.
Context: Education is a means of sharpening the mind of man both spiritually and intellectually. It is a two-edged sword that can be used either for the progress of mankind or for its destruction. That is why it has been Our constant desire and endeavor to develop our education for the benefit of mankind.
A qualified man with vision, unmoved by daily selfish interests, will be led to right decisions by his conscience. In general, a man who knows from whence he comes and where he is going will co-operate with his fellow human beings. He will not be satisfied with merely doing his ordinary duties but will inspire others by his good example. You are being watched by the nation and you should realize that you will satisfy it if you do good; but if, on the contrary, you do evil, it will lose its hope and its confidence in you.

„To win the War, to overcome the enemy upon the fields cannot alone ensure the Victory in Peace.“

—  Haile Selassie

V. E. Day proclamation (8 May 1945) http://www.jah-rastafari.com/selassie-words/show-jah-word.asp?word_id=declar_ve.
Context: May it be taken as Divine significance, that, as We mark the passing of the Nazi Reich, in America at San Francisco, delegates from all United Nations, among whose number Ethiopia stands, are now met together for their long-planned conference to lay foundations for an international pact to banish war and to maintain World Peace. Our Churches pray for the successful triumph of this conference. Without success in this, the Victory, We celebrate today, the suffering that We have all endured will be of no avail.
To win the War, to overcome the enemy upon the fields cannot alone ensure the Victory in Peace. The cause of War must be removed. Each Nation's rights must be secure from violation. Above all, from the human mind must be erased all thoughts of War as a solution. Then and then only will War cease.

„The art of leadership is in the ability to make people want to work for you, while they are really under no obligation to do so. Leaders are people, who raise the standards by which they judge themselves and by which they are willing to be judged.“

—  Haile Selassie

Speech on Leadership in Speeches Delivered on Various Occasions, May 1957-December 1959 (1960), p. 138.
Context: The art of leadership is in the ability to make people want to work for you, while they are really under no obligation to do so. Leaders are people, who raise the standards by which they judge themselves and by which they are willing to be judged. The goal chosen, the objective selected, the requirements imposed, are not mainly for their followers alone.
They develop with consumate energy and devotion, their own skill and knowledge in order to reach the standard they themselves have set.
This whole-hearted acceptance of the demands imposed by even higher standards is the basis of all human progress. A love of higher quality, we must remember, is essential in a leader.

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„Since nobody can interfere in the realm of God we should tolerate and live side by side with those of other faiths.“

—  Haile Selassie

Address to the World Evangelical Congress in Berlin (28 October 1966).
Context: This age above all ages is a period in history when it should be our prime duty to preach the Gospel of Grace to all our fellow men and women. The love shown in Christ by our God to mankind should constrain all of us who are followers and disciples of Christ to do all in our power to see to it that the Message of Salvation is carried to those of our fellows for whom Christ Our Saviour was sacrificed but who have not had the benefit of hearing the good news. Since nobody can interfere in the realm of God we should tolerate and live side by side with those of other faiths.

„In the mystic traditions of the different religions we have a remarkable unity of spirit.“

—  Haile Selassie

Words of Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, quoted by Haile Selassie in an address http://www.jah-rastafari.com/selassie-words/show-jah-word.asp?word_id=radhakrishan during the Indian President's state visit to Ethiopia (13 October 1965), quoted in Foreign Affairs Record Vol. 11-12 (1965-1966) by India Ministry of External Affairs, p. 266; Radhakrishnan is also quoted as having made these remarks in The Visva-Bharati Quarterly Vol. 5 (1939-1940)
Misattributed
Context: In the mystic traditions of the different religions we have a remarkable unity of spirit. Whatever religion they may profess, they are spiritual kinsmen. While the different religions in their historic forms bind us to limited groups and militate against the development of loyalty to the world community, the mystics have already stood for the fellowship of humanity in harmony with the spirit of the mystics of ages gone by.

„We have decided to bring to an end the most unequal, most unjust, most barbarous war of our age, and have chosen the road to exile in order that our people will not be exterminated and in order to consecrate ourselves wholly and in peace to the preservation of our empire's independence“

—  Haile Selassie

Telegram to the League of Nations on the Second Italo-Abyssinian War (10 May 1936), as quoted in Days of Emperor and Clown : The Italo-Ethiopian War, 1935-1936 (1973) by James Dugan and Laurence Davis Lafore, p. 204.
Context: We have decided to bring to an end the most unequal, most unjust, most barbarous war of our age, and have chosen the road to exile in order that our people will not be exterminated and in order to consecrate ourselves wholly and in peace to the preservation of our empire's independence … we now demand that the League of Nations should continue its efforts to secure respect for the covenant, and that it should decide not to recognize territorial extensions, or the exercise of an assumed sovereignty, resulting from the illegal recourse to armed force and to numerous other violations of international agreements.

„A house built on granite and strong foundations, not even the onslaught of pouring rain, gushing torrents and strong winds will be able to pull down.“

—  Haile Selassie

Preface
My Life and Ethiopia's Progress (1976)
Context: A house built on granite and strong foundations, not even the onslaught of pouring rain, gushing torrents and strong winds will be able to pull down. Some people have written the story of my life representing as truth what in fact derives from ignorance, error or envy; but they cannot shake the truth from its place, even if they attempt to make others believe it.

„The true leader is a different sort; he seeks effective activity which has a truly beneficient purpose. He inspires others to follow in his wake, and holding aloft the torch of wisdom, leads the way for society to realize its genuinely great aspirations.“

—  Haile Selassie

Speech on Leadership in Speeches Delivered on Various Occasions, May 1957-December 1959 (1960), p. 138.
Context: Leadership does not mean domination. The world is always well supplied with people who wish to rule and dominate others.
The true leader is a different sort; he seeks effective activity which has a truly beneficient purpose. He inspires others to follow in his wake, and holding aloft the torch of wisdom, leads the way for society to realize its genuinely great aspirations.

„In the mystic traditions of the different religions we have a remarkable unity of spirit. Whatever religion they may profess, they are spiritual kinsmen.“

—  Haile Selassie

Words of Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, quoted by Haile Selassie in an address http://www.jah-rastafari.com/selassie-words/show-jah-word.asp?word_id=radhakrishan during the Indian President's state visit to Ethiopia (13 October 1965), quoted in Foreign Affairs Record Vol. 11-12 (1965-1966) by India Ministry of External Affairs, p. 266; Radhakrishnan is also quoted as having made these remarks in The Visva-Bharati Quarterly Vol. 5 (1939-1940)
Misattributed
Context: In the mystic traditions of the different religions we have a remarkable unity of spirit. Whatever religion they may profess, they are spiritual kinsmen. While the different religions in their historic forms bind us to limited groups and militate against the development of loyalty to the world community, the mystics have already stood for the fellowship of humanity in harmony with the spirit of the mystics of ages gone by.

„When we talk of the equality of man, we find, also, a challenge and an opportunity; a challenge to breathe new life into the ideals enshrined in the Charter, an opportunity to bring men closer to freedom and true equality. and thus, closer to a love of peace.“

—  Haile Selassie

Address to the United Nations (1963)
Context: When we talk of the equality of man, we find, also, a challenge and an opportunity; a challenge to breathe new life into the ideals enshrined in the Charter, an opportunity to bring men closer to freedom and true equality. and thus, closer to a love of peace.
The goal of the equality of man which we seek is the antithesis of the exploitation of one people by another with which the pages of history and in particular those written of the African and Asian continents, speak at such length.
Exploitation, thus viewed, has many faces. But whatever guise it assumes, this evil is to be shunned where it does not exist and crushed where it does.

„It is obvious that We have been young. We weren't born old! We have been a child, a boy, a youth, an adult, and finally an old man. Like everyone else.“

—  Haile Selassie

Interview with Oriana Fallaci as reported in The Chicago Tribune (24 June 1973) (Excerpts online) http://www.jah-rastafari.com/selassie-words/show-jah-word.asp?word_id=int_ori.
Context: It is obvious that We have been young. We weren't born old! We have been a child, a boy, a youth, an adult, and finally an old man. Like everyone else. Our Lord the Creator made us like everyone else. Maybe you wish to know what kind of youth We were. Well We were a very serious, very diligent, very obedient youth. We were sometimes punished, but do you know why? Because what We were made to study did not seem enough and We wished to study further. We wanted to stay on at school after lessons were over. We were loath to amuse ourselves, to go riding, to play. We didn't want to waste time on games.

„I, Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia, am here today to claim that justice which is due to my people, and the assistance promised to it eight months ago, when fifty nations asserted that aggression had been committed in violation of international treaties.“

—  Haile Selassie

Address to the League of Nations (1936)
Context: I, Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia, am here today to claim that justice which is due to my people, and the assistance promised to it eight months ago, when fifty nations asserted that aggression had been committed in violation of international treaties.
There is no precedent for a Head of State himself speaking in this assembly. But there is also no precedent for a people being victim of such injustice and being at present threatened by abandonment to its aggressor.

„Leadership does not mean domination.“

—  Haile Selassie

Speech on Leadership in Speeches Delivered on Various Occasions, May 1957-December 1959 (1960), p. 138.
Context: Leadership does not mean domination. The world is always well supplied with people who wish to rule and dominate others.
The true leader is a different sort; he seeks effective activity which has a truly beneficient purpose. He inspires others to follow in his wake, and holding aloft the torch of wisdom, leads the way for society to realize its genuinely great aspirations.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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