On Orchids and Courage

courage

DENDROBIUM CYANOCENTRUM (Image: Orchi - Wikimedia Commons)

courage

Men's 'Got Orchids?' T-Shirt


The term ‘orchid’ is based on the Greek ‘orchis’, which stands for ‘testicle’, of which the orchid flower’s bulbs are reminiscent. Testicles, in turn, symbolize virility, masculinity, and strength. In a broader sense, they are associated with courage and backbone – for women, men and children alike.

Guts are as much in demand today as they were in Ancient Greece, with the exception that they are now referred to as orchids, or testicles. They are one of the secret ingredients of true humanity: on a personal level, in a group, and society as such.

Civilizations are evolved to the extent at which they promote and protect the well-being of all its members, regardless of demographics. They teach responsibility and community, and provide special training to those in need of extra coaching.

Following is an example for personal / neighborhood / institutionalized courage – or the lack thereof,  a summary of the recent happenings in a sleepy hamlet of 200 in central Germany:

The participants:

–          A retired couple in their seventies, happy and easy-going village residents for almost ten years;

–          A new neighbor, male, tall and muscular;

–          The neighbor’s father, living elsewhere in the village – a former colleague of the older man;

–          The rest of the village;

–          The government.

The events:

–          Three months ago, while the older man was walking a friend’s dog on the village road, the young neighbor stopped and jumped out of his car right next to the older man, on the middle of the road. The young man, whom the older man had never met before, started yelling at the older man that he was fed up with him, detailing grueling actions he would take against the older man, his wife, and a third person.

–          The older man went to see the young neighbor’s father, hoping to resolve the incident among former colleagues.

–          The young neighbor’s father went to talk to his son. He refused all communication with the older man from that moment on.

–          The older man went to file a police report. He was told that German law only applies to acts, but not threats. The only options were to apply for a restraining order (punishable with a fine if non-compliant), and a friendly social worker visit to the neighbor, for a casual chat. Police advised the older man that next time, he better made sure to have a witness with him.

–          In the weeks following the first encounter on the village road, many more incidents have occurred: More verbal aggressions; insults yelled from the young neighbor’s property almost daily; objects thrown on the older couple’s side; their mailbox demolished twice.

–          The older man never replied to any of the aggressions, opting to stay calm and restrained, to repair the mailbox and put it up again, to let a lawyer do whatever little could be done.

–          One of the other next-door neighbors had informally visited the young man, with no result to speak of.

–          The older couple will move out soon, leaving the village.

The older man and his wife keep going in their noble and lonesome fight, with no more than little help along the way. The young neighbor’s family, most of the community and society are merely watching.

Balls anyone? Got orchids?

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