Created by an Irishman who had ascended
to the rank of Admiral in the Royal Navy,
the White Feather Movement began in 1914
when thirty women were tasked to make it their business
to approach any healthy young man not in uniform,
and hand him a single white feather.
The message was a simple one:
any man who was given a feather
was now considered to be a ‘coward’.
It was an utterly ignorant method intended
to compel any and all able-bodied men to ‘join up’
… or face the ‘fact’ that he was a ‘coward’.
And demonstrates the malicious ignorance
and the obscene presumption of those
who find no conscience in freely transferring
their own uncharitable thoughts
upon peaceful or undeserving people.
There were men in Britain, at the time,
whose presence ‘at home’ was deemed more important
than being either cannon fodder
or gun-toting political pawns overseas.
Clergymen, veterinarians, and farmers
were amongst those included in a list of reserved occupations.
Others, were men who, were they to be placed in battle
– or even in supplementary roles,
would be more of a detriment to their comrades than help:
those with poor eyesight, physical infirmity, or congenital defects.
Some … were simply home on ‘leave’.
But to the women of the White Feather Movement,
none of these things mattered.
THEY saw something … Developed an instant opinion
based upon presumption and wholesale ignorance:
and THAT was all that mattered.
The fact that THEY could possibly be wrong –
never once occurred.
Far easier to degrade people, apparently,
than to consider for a moment,
that they just … might … have a coherent reason
for living quietly, peaceably, and morally;
or for having deeply held, moral convictions
that are different from yours.
Many of the “cowards” in ages past
were those whose genuine moral conscience
moved them to avoid military service
because they did not wish to threaten, intimidate,
or butcher people in foreign lands,
often for no greater reason than serving
the mere whim of grasping politicians and
whatever foreign policy was instituted to serve their purpose.
More than a few such men were forced to ‘serve’ …
and then jailed, shot, or hanged for “treason” ,
when they could not bring themselves to pull a trigger
or gun down men, women and children
who had no weapons whatsoever;
They were regarded as cowards
by the great general population
who had neither interest nor moral integrity to pause,
and think, and consider.
On a purely personal note –
I would have thought it better (surely?)
to have a willing thug who will empty his weapon
into a human being
without the slightest bit of moral trepidation,
than a man who would actually
think about WHY he is doing what he is doing,
before snuffing out a human life ?
The White Feather Movement, however,
felt no compunction about publicly degrading
any man – based purely on ignorant presumption.
Perception: Wilful Delusion
There is something about slaughtering people
(whether literally, or vicariously) that appeals to those
who are ruthless, vicious, or hold that they
above all others on the earth,
deserve to live as they wish.
And any fantasy that reflects that capacity,
is embraced with unthinking enthusiasm.
My chief interest in life
– merely because it is the last culture
on earth that reflects my values and way of living –
is traditional Japanese culture.
Once familiar with (any) culture, it is a simple matter
to see the effects of ignorant presumption
that is held by people in ‘western’ parts of the world.
In the thug mentality of the modern world
there is much fanfare about Bushido –
the way of a ‘warrior’.
In 1905, Japanese politician Inazo Nitobe
wrote a very well-crafted book in response to an American query
about how the Japanese nation could possibly be so civilised
without having the Bible as its central feature for moral living.
Nitobe died in Victoria, British Columbia, in 1933,
but his book was arguably “The Book” that stimulated
interest in oriental thought in the western world.
He wrote very eloquently about the Japanese
code of moral principles – “Bushido”,
a spirit of Self Sacrifice as a [ Note ! ] COMMON …
standard of behaviour for people in his nation.
A hundred and ten years later, the common
‘standard’ of the masses in ‘western society’
is – observably, the spewing of obscenities,
crude vulgarity, and arrogance
where any demonstration of manners renders one
( my brother and I have found
from repeated personal experience)
an object of bewilderment to what now passes for “men” –
and a source of pleasant curiosity for women who are
– clearly, unfamiliar with the experience of genteel courtesy.
A tragedy, as gentle people deserve far better
than the brash selfishness and profanity
that they receive at the hands and mouths
of multitudes today.
For Nitobe, ‘Bushido’ comprised qualities of …
– composure in times of danger or calamity;
– contemplation, in order to attain heights of considered thought
that could not easily be described; and
– the sympathetic regard for the feelings of others:
a concept that is continually advocated throughout this Internet site.
The cultivation of tender feelings, (I have endeavoured to assert)
will foster a regard – thoughtfulness – for the suffering
and anguish of others who genuinely are in distress.
Modesty and Respect for others, Nitobe maintained,
are at the root of Politeness.
Three qualities that are all but absent from the Internet,
and western society at large.
This code of Bushido [ Mandarin: wǔ shì dào]
is applied to the Samurai – as is the notion of
‘chivalry’ of the mediaeval Knights,
or the modern trend of seeing ‘honour’
in anyone wearing a uniform
– by those who seem captivated
with the glorification of macho ferocity
It is a perception that is based on fairy-tale illusion:
romantic fantasy that, in any age, rarely applies.
The work of photographer Felice (he preferred to be called ‘Felix’) Beato
featured the Samurai of the mid-to-late 19th century; here, 1881.
Samurai was a class into which one was born; (or,
on occasion, to which one could be upgraded
by bringing the heads of many opponents in battle
and thus, being awarded land.)
The Samurai were land-owners who were
‘on call’ to go to battle the moment they were needed.
More than just military thugs, many would be familiar
with subjects such as art and Calligraphy;
and had (think “officers”) servants who attended them
both at home and on the battlefield.
Samurai who, for whatever reason, had lost their employment,
would travel from place to place in search of a new lord
and a steady pay-cheque. These were known as ろうにん
– “rounin” [‘ronin’] or, ろうし – “roushi” …
the image was of men who drifted about like flotsam on a wave.
Re-employment for such men required the approval of a previous lord;
in the interim, they would take sporadic employment
as, for example, “bodyguards” … to anyone.
Fully employed, or seeking work, the supreme characteristic
of the Samurai was … implicit obedience
to whomever paid him.
What seems to be ignored by those
who consider such men ‘honourable’,
is the plain fact that a Samurai would murder anyone
if his ‘lord’ told him to do so.
Multiple Samurai murdering a lone man
was considered ‘honourable’ – because,
– amoral compliance – they had obeyed their lord.
Implicit, unthinking obedience to “orders”.
The Samurai wanted reputation, and pay.
If that meant cutting you, me, him, or her down
for no other reason than that his lord directed him
to do so … that was all the reason a Samurai required.
To see ANY “moral code” to that mentality is
– for me, impossible to understand.
Yet multitudes – clearly – insist upon holding perceptions
of people, because it appeals to their fanciful ideas,
or lends credence to their own unprincipled nature.
Those who insist upon seeing ‘honour’ in killers
reveal a great deal about their own standard of morality.
Many prate on about ‘honour’
but VERY few practice it, when it ‘gets in the way’
People believe and act, without being able
to provide a coherent reason why.
To see the Samurai as some principled warrior,
who exercised ‘noble’ characteristics …
… before brutally cutting someone down
for no other reason
than that his employer ordered him to do so …?
I have learned (this past month) that to go into a shop
with the intent of giving the owner one’s business (and money)
actually permits one to be called a thief;
to call on all men and women of maturity
to think less of Self, and more of others;
is to be deemed a “bitter” man.
And that (with the exception of one man from South Africa)
visitors to this Internet site
cannot find it in themselves
to offer a word of moral commisseration.
In 1875, the crew of HMS Challenger were plumbing the depths
of what was known to be the deepest part of the ocean
… until the line they had been using, suddenly ran out,
and more line had to be added, and added, and added:
they had discovered the Marianas Trench.
I, too, have discovered new depths.
To live life – to have used the time
given me in this life –
to no higher purpose than to
seek almost constantly to be entertained,
gratify my conceit,
and live vicariously through family, children,
‘friends’, and possessions …
… would be, for me, to have utterly wasted away my life.
and would, on my deathbed, fill me with shame and regret.
This entire Internet site contains observations made
from my own first-hand experience.
Experiences that, I had hoped, might benefit others.
( Others, that is, who refuse to imitate
the savage arrogance seen around them;
and instead, possess the humility
to receive the counsel offered here,
in the spirit of heart-felt concern
with which it is made. )
I had learned early in life
that IF ANY teaching, ‘teacher’, or personality
with the vast majority of people,
it, he, or she
should be treated with extreme Caution.
There seems to be no limit
to the ever-increasing ease with which multitudes
allow their own presumption to
degrade another person’s character,
and actually ‘justify’ themselves in so doing.
The White Feather signified “cowardice”
in those who did not deserve it;
Perception makes heroes and villains
of those who are neither.
It has been truly astounding
to see the ease and willingness
with which people will believe Anything
that is presented to them on television, cinema,
and the Internet.
And deeply disturbing to realise
the readiness of people
to debase someone
without so much as pausing to consider
that … they JUST … might be wrong.
Nor are such individuals troubled
about the cost to a man’s name or reputation,
if they are.
Some have been so vindictive
that they have ‘dredged’ this site
specifically to find fault.
Malicious men and women are so resentful
or unable to bear the moral efforts of others,
that they cannot endure that anyone
should outshine them – and so,
are ever seeking to drag others down
to the gutter with themselves.
Others feel the need to ruin the work
of anyone who possesses the diligence,
skill, and makes the effort
to do what they will not.
Read the comments on almost any medium
(genuine) history on the Internet,
and there will be some obnoxious narcissist nit-picking
that ‘the border was actually 20 feet to the left’,
or some similar inanity or outright error.
Almost no one
can just say “Thank You” any more.
When considering the perceived faults
of any man or woman,
look at what they have done;
and what they have said …
… and not what others
have said about them.
A ‘pure heart’ is one
that makes conscience
of every selfish word,
and every arrogant thought.
Something that requires
6th October 2016