Lee's Lexicon October 8, 2021

Hello Broadway!

This week I've wandered a little further south, to Greece. The word filotimo (or philotimo, depending on how you transliterate it from the Greek alphabet) can be literally translated as 'friend/lover of honor' but it's a little more involved than that. Like sisu and hiraeth, it is a fairly engrained concept in the language and culture.

It's...a person who knows and acknowledges the responsibility of every human to act with honor, with integrity. With kindness, with love. It carries the inherent acknowledgment, also, that those things do not fall by the wayside when things get hard, when there's no gain to it. It's the sense of duty we have to one another to help when and where we can, and the courage and integrity and sheer determination to continue in that duty, to continue to love, even when everything may be against you.

It's used a few times, actually, in the original Greek versions of some books of the New Testament. It's the characteristic that Jesus had, that led him to the cross to die even knowing what awaited, even knowing he would suffer. It's a characteristic that we are called to have, in our own lives, when we are told to carry crosses and follow. Even when things are hard. Even when it seems futile. Even when there's no gain for ourselves, even when, maybe, it puts us at risk. Even in the night, when the dark seems to have won.


Perhaps even especially then.


Lee M. Rollins