Friday, 10 June 2011

Asymmetric generosity

BADAL: Self-respect and sensitivity to insult is another essential trait of Pashtun character. The poorest among them has his own sense of dignity and honor and he vehemently refuses to submit to any insult. In fact every Pashtun considers himself equal if not better than his fellow tribesmen and an insult is, therefore, taken as scurrilous reflection on his character. An insult is sure to evoke insult and murder is likely to lead to a murder.
The Way of the Pashtuns
Generosity is a literal and metaphorical giving ground to those prepared to take it. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. It is possible to cede territory forever and this perpetual withdrawal across vast unknown lands becomes indistinguishable from a perpetual advance. That which drives retreating forces further and further from the battlefield is the exact same pressure which drags the conquering forces forward, as if against their will. We could say that the withdrawing force grandly takes possession of the ground that it gives up in the abject gesture of fleeing across it.

No comments:

Post a Comment