Moderator: Bill Glasheen
Bill Glasheen wrote:We have seen members of this "Culture of Honor" posting on these Forums.
mhosea wrote:Fascinating. I've been researching my family tree on Ancestry.com recently, and it turns out that I come from an incredibly consistent line of farmers tracing back in virtually every path to colonists, mostly British colonists but also some from New Amsterdam who arrived in the early 17th century. I grew up in the south and been aware of this culture of honor phenomenon in some folks, but it never made any sense to me. I guess maybe now I might know why. Even though I've never been a farmer, never lived on a farm, I probably have the culture of farmers ingrained somehow.
Malcolm Gladwell wrote:Cultures of honor tend to take root in highlands and other marginally fertile areas like Sicily or the mountainous Basque regions of Spain. If you live on some rocky mountainside, the explanation goes, you can’t farm. You probably raised goats or sheep. And the kind of culture that grows up around being a herdsman is very different than the culture that grows up around growing crops. The survival of the farmer depends upon the cooperation of others in the community. But a herdsman is off by himself. Farmers also don’t have to worry that their livelihood could be stolen in the night, because crops can’t easily be stolen – unless of course the thief wants to go to the trouble of harvesting an entire field all on his own. But a herdsman does. He’s under constant threat of ruin through the loss of his animals. So he has to be aggressive. He has to make it clear through his words and deeds that he’s not weak. He has to be willing to fight in response to even the slightest challenge to his reputation. And that’s what the culture of honor means. It’s a world where a man’s reputation is at the center of his livelihood and self worth.
But the more you understand, the more you can predict. And knowing your fellow man is the most important step in self-preservation.
Malcolm Gladwell wrote:
Cultures of honor tend to take root in highlands and other marginally fertile areas like Sicily or the mountainous Basque regions of Spain.
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