ܐܢܗܘܼ ܕܬܬܡܰܟܰܟܬ ܚܰܫܒܘܟ ܕܠܐ ܚܰܘܪܳܐ
"If you show humility, they will think you indecent"
Saint Mor Aphrem (306-373)
A well-known son of our geography, Saint Mor Aphrem of Nusaybin is the spiritual doctor of the universal church. Even in literary and social life, the waters of Syriac culture are like a bright and clear cascade that does not age.
This precious person, a symbol of humility, had this to say about the despots controlled by exploitation and abuse: ‘‘ܐܢܗܘܼ ܕܬܬܡܰܟܰܟܬ ܚܰܫܒܘܟ ܕܠܐ ܚܰܘܪܳܐ / If you show humility, they will think you indecent’’ These words should be examined and studied from a sociological standpoint.
It seems to me that Saint Mor Aphrem experienced the indecency of certain presumptuous people due to the light he carried. Most likely, he did not behave reactively when the people he held close pushed him away, looked down on him and slandered him. Instead, he felt the responsibility to express his proactive and deeply spiritual personality disguised in his love for mentorship and utter this cautionary word of wisdom.
This word may have been uttered due to other bad experiences. In any case, it actually makes certain crucial, informative points. In my opinion, it draws attention to a conscious humility that is closed off to exploitation and abuse. Because the self-centered and selfish mentality that disregards human dignity knows no bounds or limits. Known for its life-poisoning influence, this mentality does not care for human values. Not only are these values disdained, there are time when they are even misjudged. This is why people who love too much, cherish too much, care too much and love too much are taken advantage of. Too little or too much humility creates audacity. Too little or too much appreciation creates unfaithfulness. Too little or too much altruism is countered with ingratitude.
Just like in the days of Mor Aphrem, it is painful to observe the same indecency in our time as well. The fact that Saint Mor Aphrem, who put humility very high up on the scale of values and virtues, said these words is very thought-provoking and significant. Why did he say it 1700 years ago?
According to the fundamental rule whose validity has endured through the ages, the extent of human development is directly proportional to intellectual and moral development. If the moral make-up of human character does not develop in the light of spiritual enlightenment and cultural awareness, this indecency will unfortunately continue. Tomorrow, as it did yesterday, with the corrosive effect of the cash cow mentality that tramples on people's rights and labor...
Do not forget, humility is a moral behavior that shows the greatness of truth inside people and an awareness of this greatness. It is a divine disguise.
Malfono Yusuf Beğtaş
President of the Syriac Association of Language, Culture and Literature
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