artist & teacher

Ethos vs The Image of Sophistication 12 June 2019

Sometimes we meet people and look up to them preconditionally . We expect too much from them. Not because we know what they’re really made of , but only because of their image or an Ethos that they inherited. Many of those seem sophisticated and “hip”, but we would be shocked when we discover that they are much less than what they project. Many inherit their “Ethos” in different ways, accept the ultimate one.

Many years ago I worked in a theater abroad. As a culture bridge I got to know the ambassador of my state, who came to watch the show. The ambassador was an extremely nice and humble person. Later, when we flight back, he’s introduced me to his family, including to his son who was my age.

Out of respect to the person of the ambassador, who was a genuinely loving an empathic person (he passed away a couple of years later), I loosened a bit my resistance mechanisms and observation skills for a moment, because I thought, his son was a gentleman, with the same code of ethics.

Perhaps the ambassador wanted me to be his son’s friend as good influence, but very quickly I learned how chaotic, exploitive and dependent the son was. I understood that being around such person would be a mistake that would exploit most of my emotional and financial resources. So I removed that person from my life.

Being a son of an ambassador, made him go into most expensive and trendy bars and clubs, drink, party, get drunk, flirt with all women there and buy them drinks, but would leave without paying. The bars owners gave him that credit because he was “a son of an ambassador”. Many girls welcomed his sleazy flirtation that edged harassment, only after he introduced himself as the “son of”. This key, opened all doors for him, even to the wishful hearts of women. However, the wasteful son succeeded to cut all ties and destroy all potential relationships, because he had nothing, but his last name.

When bar owners called me saying “Your friend was in my bar, but didn’t pay”, of course I told them that he’s not my friend and that, instead of trying to look for the irrelevant scapegoat to blame, they’d better learn to take responsibility for their actions, by avoiding giving credit to someone’s “ethos”. I succeeded to restore my vision very quickly and leave in the right moment, but there are still people in trouble until today because of that son.

Ethos is to be built, not inherited. It needs to be backed up with action and achievement.

  • A last name is not an achievement.
  • Dad’s wealth is not an achievement.
  • Nationality is not an achievement.
  • Race is not an achievement.
  • Religion is not an achievement.
  • In an age, where only people who don’t question the status quo or don’t trigger the the ego of their professors can get academic degrees, in this world, the academic degree is not an achievement.

Ethos can open doors and opportunities, that’s why many want to fake it, but those who fall for it will keep paying the price of their poor judgement. Some for the rest of their lives.