I gotta have my orange juice.

Jesu, Juva

Less

with 2 comments

[T]he one thing you must know [as a leader] is that you have been exalted into a position, you see, of privilege, because of an historical chain of events, which dignifies you beyond your own merits. . . . [Y]ou know that you are not up to the occasion. You are less than the quality history bestows on you. . . .

Ceremonies warn all men that they are less than the office that has fallen upon [them]. . . . No man is self-made, because the fact that anybody who is willing to listen to you comes to you only as a gift, you see, of the historical process by which you happen to have something the other man needs, or the other man is asking for. The fact that he can speak to you is already something, you see, that is not of your own making. . . .

It is, however, true, gentlemen, that through ceremony . . . and title, and emblems, and symbols, and uniforms, and costumes, we are entering the halls of the past, as in great architecture. Architecture, you see, reflects, of course, this tremendous hall of antiquity out of which we come, and out of which we receive our meaning, our name, our status, our profession, our calling; everything we have: our property. . . .

Honor is reciprocal, gentlemen; love is reciprocal; work is reciprocal; and war is reciprocal. Life is not given you—to us—to individuals. If you analyze these four situations, . . . you will find the miracle of our existence is that it is each time a social birth. Society, the group, gives birth to us in our honor, in our love, in our work, and . . . in our struggles. (Eugen Rosenstock–Huessy, Cross of Reality, 1953)

Written by Scott Moonen

May 11, 2017 at 7:58 pm

Posted in Quotations

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  1. […] See also: Less […]

  2. […] Rosenstock-Huessy says of leadership […]


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