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insertgenericnamehere1

Well-Known Member
So this is something that's been on my mind for a few weeks, maybe even months, and I wanted to write about this somewhere. Now I'm on here so here goes nothing, grab some popcorn:

Here in Greece there is a word called, 'φιλότιμο' or 'philotimo'. It doesn't really translate into English mostly due to it's deeper meaning, but if I had to try I'd say something like 'deep conscientiousness of honor' or 'sportsmanship'. I really can't even think of a way to even try and write this in English but lets go down the rabbit hole:

Philotomo means to do something for someone else without expecting anything in return or a for a favor. A good deed is done from the heart and is not meant to be done with expectations or returns. I suppose this is more of a philosophy or way of life. If you see an old woman struggling with her bags, take them and walk her home. If you see someone hungry, feed them a warm meal. If you see someone sad, comfort them. In Greece, these acts are meant to be done without questioning them, even to complete strangers. The deeper concept behind this word or as I'd put it philosophy, is the honor of being honorable. I realize I'm probably just saying the same thing with different words at this point due to translation problems but the concept of good deeds just because it 'ought' to be is truly inspiring to me, and I hold this concept next to my heart.

This deep state of awareness of not just honor for yourself but having an understanding of why we have an obligation to do honorable things, and to do random acts of kindness. I also strongly feel this way about giving someone my word and commitments. I don't like to give my word, or sign up for something when I know I can't commit, because I feel bound to the responsibility and I will feel deeply disappointed in myself for having failed at the virtue of virtues, honor, or 'φιλότιμο'.

However, the beauty of 'φιλότιμο' is that this concept has given me a deep sense of meaning in my life. Even when I feel things have completely collapsed in my life or around me I still practice φιλότιμο. I suppose this is the mentality of Greece these days even with economic crisis. There is so much despair, broken dreams and ruined lives but people still remain true and open in their hearts. To me this is an extremely, moving, powerful and inspirational way to live life. When I see someone practicing philotimo, I usually offer to buy them a drink or coffee etc. just because I feel I want to do the honor. I don't do this with expectations or to wait for something return but this is because it is meant to be this way.

I suppose I'm just rambling at this point so I think this article might be able to explain better than I can:

www.psychologytoday.com: Philotimo: A Greek Word Without Meaning but Very Meaningful

Please let me know your thoughts on the concept of philotimo, or anything in general about honor or altruism. Thanks and I hope you all enjoyed the read =p



*Note* This has nothing to do with Greek nationalism as this is a huge problem in Greece, and the whole Balkan region. I've heard some of the most laughable and ridiculous things like pizza is Greek, all the way to Jesus Christ himself was a Greek man, and much more serious nationalistic rhetoric. This is solely about the concept of philotimo and not the Greekness behind it or whatever...
 
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Infrarednexus

Guest
I like to share my food and school supplies with my roommate and always hold the door open for women and mothers, as my parents encouraged me growing up to be a classic gentleman (Though I would say I lack the appearance of one), and taught me basic Christian morals about being kind to fellow people and showing compassion like Christ did.

I also always keep plenty of spare change in my car to give to homeless and people begging for money that I drive past. I don't care what they spend the money on, as it's their choice, but it's the act of helping them that matters to me.

I spent a lot of time during high school and early college volunteering at animal rescue centers and shelters playing with and taking care of cats and dogs. I didn't ask for money or recognition, but simply enjoyed spending time with the animals and giving them the love and affection they never received from their previous owners. That was all that mattered to me. I'd gladly spend time doing it again just to see those happy tails wagging.

I always liked historical Greek philosophy for reasons like this that you have described. Even in their early times as a civilization, they developed and shared many ideas and principles that helped shape and improve our quality of life to this day.
 

insertgenericnamehere1

Well-Known Member
and taught me basic Christian morals about being kind to fellow people and showing compassion like Christ did.
That's interesting I'm actually kind of curious now if philotimo is an Ancient Greek or an Orthodox (christian) virtue. I actually don't know.

I also always keep plenty of spare change in my car to give to homeless and people begging for money that I drive past. I don't care what they spend the money on, as it's their choice, but it's the act of helping them that matters to me.
Yeah exactly. It's about just doing something good, and not thinking about what the end result is. Someone who needs money, give them money.

I spent a lot of time during high school and early college volunteering at animal rescue centers and shelters playing with and taking care of cats and dogs. I didn't ask for money or recognition, but simply enjoyed spending time with the animals and giving them the love and affection they never received from their previous owners. That was all that mattered to me. I'd gladly spend time doing it again just to see those happy tails wagging.
And again this is altruism, beyond our own species. Obviously most people on here are probably animal lovers XD I'v done a lot of work with many of the refugees here for no pay. I did it because there were people in need who have nothing and this brought me great happiness. Just to bring a smile on someone's face was most important for me.

I always liked historical Greek philosophy for reasons like this that you have described. Even in their early times as a civilization, they developed and shared many ideas and principles that helped shape and improve our quality of life to this day.
And yeah it is great I love this stuff. But it's also kind of a problem. Too many Greeks are stuck thinking about the past and not about the situation now.
 

dragon-in-sight

mane diva
@insertgenericnamehere1:

That's interesting I'm actually kind of curious now if philotimo is an Ancient Greek or an Orthodox (christian) virtue. I actually don't know.

φιλότιμο is a quite old concept rooting back to ancient greece. The philosopher Thales of Miletus described it as a concept of thinking and actting that was so essential for a Greeks identity like breathing is for the preservation of life. The best way to translate Philotimo may be 'Love of integrity' similar to the Term Philosophy meaning 'Love of Wisdom'. The original meaning of the term was not just to act on specific values, but to strive for getting a better Human beeing. The set of actual values changed many times over the years, but the fundamental principle of how to cope with them stayed the same.

Regardind this I'd be curious. What are your values and what do you relate to φιλότιμο yourself?
 

insertgenericnamehere1

Well-Known Member
@insertgenericnamehere1:



φιλότιμο is a quite old concept rooting back to ancient greece. The philosopher Thales of Miletus described it as a concept of thinking and actting that was so essential for a Greeks identity like breathing is for the preservation of life. The best way to translate Philotimo may be 'Love of integrity' similar to the Term Philosophy meaning 'Love of Wisdom'. The original meaning of the term was not just to act on specific values, but to strive for getting a better Human beeing. The set of actual values changed many times over the years, but the fundamental principle of how to cope with them stayed the same.

Regardind this I'd be curious. What are your values and what do you relate to φιλότιμο yourself?

Yeah that doesn't surprise me that it's ancient. As a modern Greek speaker I really don't think it can even be translated as that. The meaning is just too difficult to express in one word. Also you're very right the meaning has probably shifted over the years as modern Greece is very different from ancient Greece especially the language. 400 years of Turkish occupation will do that XD

Anyways, today it is more like a code of honor, or a sense of doing something right. As for me, all the examples I gave are from real life. It can range from small to large things. Something like giving a homeless person change to inviting a complete stranger into your house and giving them your bed. I've never hosted a complete stranger but in some more remote parts of Greece I've experienced this kind of hospitality.
 
I’ve loved this concept, but never knew there was a name for it. Serving others just for the heck of it is great. It may feel tiring or pointless at first, but seeing the happy face of who I helped, or knowing I helped someone in their life, even just a little bit, is always worth it imo. It can even help beyond what you can imagine. One example, was about 2 months ago. I had shoveled this lady’s driveway and didn’t think much of it at the time. When she came to thank me (she had saw me shoveling, but I hadn’t seen her) at church, she told me her husband had passed away last week, and seeing someone help her out really helped her feel less alone/forgotten about.
However, the beauty of 'φιλότιμο' is that this concept has given me a deep sense of meaning in my life. Even when I feel things have completely collapsed in my life or around me I still practice φιλότιμο.
I find it always lifts my mood too. :) I think this quote could apply. “As we lose ourselves in the service of others, we discover our own lives and our own happiness.” - Dieter F Uchtdorf.
 

insertgenericnamehere1

Well-Known Member
I’ve loved this concept, but never knew there was a name for it. Serving others just for the heck of it is great. It may feel tiring or pointless at first, but seeing the happy face of who I helped, or knowing I helped someone in their life, even just a little bit, is always worth it imo. It can even help beyond what you can imagine. One example, was about 2 months ago. I had shoveled this lady’s driveway and didn’t think much of it at the time. When she came to thank me (she had saw me shoveling, but I hadn’t seen her) at church, she told me her husband had passed away last week, and seeing someone help her out really helped her feel less alone/forgotten about.

Mate, that's a really beautiful story and a true act of φιλότιμο.

“As we lose ourselves in the service of others, we discover our own lives and our own happiness.”

Yeah I'd say the practice of philotimo is a great way to help discover more about yourself.
 

quoting_mungo

Well-Known Member
This sounds very close to how I try to live my life: with kindness and compassion. Sometimes the biggest kindness you can do someone is give them some harsh truths or tough love, but most of the time, giving them the benefit of the doubt or offering them a chance to save face will be better for everyone. I'm not always going to manage to live up to my ideal, but the important thing is to try.
 

insertgenericnamehere1

Well-Known Member
I'm not always going to manage to live up to my ideal, but the important thing is to try.
Yeah definitely. That's why I really try to not to fully give my word or commit to something that I can't follow through on. Mostly because I don't want to let myself and more importantly someone else down.
 

Keefur

aka Cutter Cat
I would imagine the closest single English word comparible to that would be compassion. Some call doing good deeds "paying it forward". If you do a good deed for for someone, then later, someone will hopefully do a good deed for you when you need it.
 

insertgenericnamehere1

Well-Known Member
I would imagine the closest single English word comparible to that would be compassion. Some call doing good deeds "paying it forward". If you do a good deed for for someone, then later, someone will hopefully do a good deed for you when you need it.
Yeah it is definitely related to compassion. Similar to karma, good deeds do pay off. One of the things I love about philotimo though is doing the good deed without expecting something good to happen. Even if you will receive nothing practicing this deep awareness is very worthwhile.
 
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