Father Geoffrey invented a history for England.
The question we’ll look at: can you invent greatness for another… Can a great path that doesn’t oblige have any positive influence on the person, or instead it will give them wrongful pride… “I am better than you” nationalist or racial superiority?
Let me examine the difference between the different stories of different peoples, so I can explain the difference between the individuals who hail from different cultures.
I am going to bumble my way through this… so expect this article to be a little chunky… I apologize ahead of time. No disrespect meant… Honest.
I’ll go about it the scenic way.
A few months ago a new “era” began in my business. The new students I got were starting to be different: from a similar breed, dramatically different from my students before.
The two new people descended from a proud small nation, each.
The two new students: A Kurd or Kurdish person back in November, and another person of Albanian descent. Getting one new student a month is normal for me…
Now, I’ve learned a lot in these two months. The most important is this: if your ancestors (and therefore you) obeyed something, a commandment, that defines you and your people, something you can be proud of, you have a story that sustains you, that gives you a head start in this game of becoming a person, and become an Expanding Human Being.
I’ll write about those two in a sec… but I want to pit it against a different history…
If your story/history was manufactured, and there is no commandment, only a glorious past that is made up of thin air, and makes no sense to you… because it doesn’t seem to be in your DNA or in you your blood, then the descendants of this history bear little resemblance to the glorious story. There is a disconnect.
If your story/history is some religion that asks you to admire and worship some dude, however interesting, heroic, or godly that person was purported to be, you have no commandment, and it is not in your blood, not in your DNA to be or act even similar to this dude.
If you were born in an incredibly fertile part of the world… and you could make a living on a tiny piece of land… and you had a nation that was great, in spite of you… you’ll have conceit but no commandment… unless you were part of nobility… and followed the commandments of Confucius…
I have written about the Jews in this regard, in another article…
I’ve told you it’s going to be chunky. There are a lot more peoples that I could say a word about here and there, like Mongols, like Moslems, especially in Arab countries… or the Germans, or Russians, and maybe I will, at some point… I need time. I won’t do it now…
I’ll mention a sect I have read a lot about. I don’t even know if they are invented or real, but their story fits right in: the Ordo Militum Vindicis Intactae, the Knights of the Virgin Defender (I just looked it up, it’s invented) warrior monks also known as the Shield-Brethren, who lived and died by a very strong commitment to principles… Lot to learn from them.
OK. I hope you are starting to see some similarities, some principles, some distinctions:
The groups or nations that have a binding commitment to abide by stringent ethical, moral, rules, produce people who have ownership over their own lives, because of those rules that give them an identity. (This is even true if some people from those countries are thugs, or criminals…)
The groups or nations that are members of a great nation, no rules, no ownership, no commitment, no moral or ethical rules… the people have no identity, no sense of belonging, and are tasked with the enormous task to create one… and they mostly fail at it because the power of their word is weak, unpracticed.
–OK, here is my summary of what makes a Kurd Kurd… They are and have been treated badly in all the countries they lived, in spite of the fact that they are highly productive, highly moral, amazingly courageous people who were not bending under any threat.
This is not Wikipedia, this is my blog… and I write my personal impression, not necessarily the whole truth.
–OK, here is my summary of the Albanians: A few centuries ago lived a man, Lek Dukagjin who created a binding code for his people. Smart man…
The code, Besa, says that you are responsible for the well-being of your guests, even after they departed your house. Honoring your word. If you violate this commandment, if you violate your word, violate this code, the Besa, you have a choice between infamy or death.
It’s the basis of a person: their character. And when character is unthinkable to violate… you have a nation with honor, and a nation who bring tears into your eyes.
Albania and Albanians saved a lot of Jews during the holocaust, and that is another expression of the Besa, and shaped who they consider themselves to be. 2
Quite different from almost any other nation, wouldn’t you think so?
So unless the leader instilled personal responsibility, personal pride, personal duty in the people of a nation, the nation can only have an identity where individuals wear the feathers they did not earn. And how you do anything is how you do everything… Unearned feathers…
These two people can take pain. They may cry but they don’t buckle. Because they know they can take it, because they know who they are and what they are made of.
Now… what can you do if you don’t have the luck to have come from a nation that instilled individual responsibility and duty in you?
You see that you are coming to the “game” of becoming a person, becoming an Expanding Human Being with a handicap.
To tell the truth, I do have two other students who in spite of their ancestral belonging are poised to become expanding human beings… so the handicap can be overcome.
In both people the job was to create pride. Individual pride… the kind of pride that is like a “there is no way I am going to be anything less than magnificent”…. kind of pride.
Everyone can invent a nation for themselves, and then be a true son/daughter of that nation. The nation of “there is no way I am going to be left out…”
As you see, in all the people who are poised to be the first human beings, there is a personal commitment larger than themselves.
Where the alternative is killed…
When there is only one way. UP.
- During one of humanity's darkest chapters, when millions of Jews, gays, communists and racial minorities were rounded up across Europe, many Albanians put up a fight to save complete strangers.They risked their lives to shelter displaced Jewish families under Italian, and later German, occupation during the Holocaust. Many in the small, predominantly Muslim country in southeastern Europe took refugees into their homes despite the risks and the cost, passing their guests off as family members to keep them safe.CNN's Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest storiesAt the core of this effort was a concept called “besa,” an Albanian code of honor that holds a person's oath as sacred.Under Besa, a guest in one's home must be protected at all cost. The code is uniquely Albanian and is cited in the new film as the main reason that Albanians opened their borders and their homes to displaced Jews when many others in Europe turned them away.The code may be fueled, in part, by the tenets of Islam under which saving a life is a blessed act. maybe...Until recently, this chapter of history remained relatively unknown, hidden by the decades of isolation that Albania fell under following World War II.
- During one of humanity’s darkest chapters, when millions of Jews, gays, communists and racial minorities were rounded up across Europe, many Albanians put up a fight to save complete strangers.
They risked their lives to shelter displaced Jewish families under Italian, and later German, occupation during the Holocaust. Many in the small, predominantly Muslim country in southeastern Europe took refugees into their homes despite the risks and the cost, passing their guests off as family members to keep them safe.
CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories
At the core of this effort was a concept called “besa,” an Albanian code of honor that holds a person’s oath as sacred.
Under Besa, a guest in one’s home must be protected at all cost. The code is uniquely Albanian and is cited in the new film as the main reason that Albanians opened their borders and their homes to displaced Jews when many others in Europe turned them away.
The code may be fueled, in part, by the tenets of Islam under which saving a life is a blessed act. maybe…