At the end of Ep4, I asked you listeners a question concerning Ep5 and it’s book, Divergent.
The choosing ceremony for the 16 year olds is about to come to pass and it’s the year you get to choose which faction you will be belong to for the rest of your life… which do you choose? The selfless Abnegation, the intelligent Erudite, the brave Dauntless, the peaceful Amity or the honest Candor? And why do you choose it?
I’ve provided the manifestos of each faction to better help you make your decision. You can email your responses to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet them to me @RealmofBooks. Can’t wait to hear what you folks have to say! Stay Classy and Keep Reading!
I will be my undoing If I become my obsession.
I will forget the ones I love If I do not serve them.
I will war with others If I refuse to see them.
Therefore I choose to turn away From my reflection, To rely not on myself But on my brothers and sisters, To project always outward Until I disappear.*
(*Some members add a final line: “And only God remains.” That is at the discretion of each member, and is not compulsory.)
We submit the following statements as truth:
“Ignorance” is defined not as stupidity but as lack of knowledge. Lack of knowledge inevitable leads to disconnect among people with differences. Lack of understanding leads to a disconnect among people with differences. Disconnection among people with differences leads to conflict. Knowledge is the only logical solution to the problem of conflict. Therefore, we propose that in order to eliminate conflict, we must eliminate the disconnect among those with differences by correcting the lack of understanding that arises from ignorance with knowledge. The areas in which people must be educated are:
So that the individual understands how society at large functions.
So that the individual understands how a person functions within the society.
So that the individual is prepared for further study in science, engineering, medicine, and technology.
So that the individual better understands how the world operates. So that the individual’s study in other areas is supplemented. So that as many individuals as possible area prepared to enter the fields devoted to innovation and progress
So that the individual knows how to speak and write clearly and effectively.
So that the individual understands the mistakes and successes that have led us to this point. So that the individual learns to emulate those successes and avoid those mistakes. Leaders must not be chosen base on charisma, popularity, or ease of communication, all of which are misleading and have little to do with the efficiency of a political leader. An objective standard must be used in order to determine who is best fit to lead. That standard will be an intelligence test, administered to all adults when the present leader reaches fifty-five or begins to decline is function in a demonstrable way. Those who, after rigorous studying, do not meet a minimum intelligence requirement will be exiled from the faction so they can be made useful. This is not an act of elitism but rather one of practicality: Those who are not intelligent enough to engage in the roles assigned to us— roles that require a considerable mental capacity—are better suited to menial work than to faction work. Menial work is required for the survival of society, and is therefore just as important as faction work. Information must always be made available to all faction members at all times. The withholding of information is punishable by reprimand, imprisonment, and, eventually, exile. Every question that can be answered must be answered or at least engaged. Illogical thought processes must be challenged when they arise. Wrong answers must be corrected. Correct answers must be affirmed. If an answer to a question is unclear, it must be put to debate. All debates require evidence. Any controversial thought or idea must be supplemented by evidence in order to reduce the potential for conflict. Intelligence must be used for the benefit, and not to the detriment, of society. Those who use intelligence for their own personal gain or to the detriment of others have not properly bore the responsibility of their gift, and are not welcome in our faction. It bears repeating: Intelligence is a gift, not a right. It must not be wielded not as a weapon but as a tool for the betterment of others.
We believe that cowardice is to blame for the world’s injustices.
We believe that peace is hard-won, that sometimes it is necessary to fight for peace. But more than that: We believe that justice is more important than peace.
We believe in freedom from fear, in denying fear the power to influence our decisions. We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.
We believe in acknowledging fear and the extent to which it rules us. We believe in facing that fear no matter what the cost to our comfort, our happiness, or even our sanity.
We believe in shouting for those who can only whisper, in defending those who cannot defend themselves.
We believe, not just in bold words but in bold deeds to match them. We believe that pain and death are better than cowardice and inaction because we believe in action.
We do not believe in living comfortable lives. We do not believe that silence is useful.
We do not believe in good manners.
We do not believe in empty heads, empty mouths, or empty hands.
We do not believe that learning to master violence encourages unnecessary violence.
We do not believe that we should be allowed to stand idly by. We do not believe that any other virtue is more important than bravery.
Conversations of Peace
A son says to his mother: “Mother, today I fought with my friend.”
His Mother says: “Why did you fight with your friend?”
“Because he demanded something of me, and I would not give it to him.”
“Why did you not give it to him?”
“Because it was mine.”
“My son, you now have your possessions, but you do not have your friend. Which would you rather have?”
“Then give freely, trusting that you will also be given what you need.”
Daughter says to her Father: “Father, today I fought with my friend.”
Her Father says: “Why did you fight with your friend?”
“Because she insulted me, and I was angry.”
“Why were you angry?”
“Because she lied about me” (In some versions: “Because I was hurt by her words.”)
“My daughter, did your friend’s words change who you are?”
“Then do not be angry. The opinions of others cannot damage you.”
A husband says to his wife: “Wife, today I fought with my enemy.”
“His Wife says: “Why did you fight with your enemy?”
“Because I hate him.”
“My husband, why do you hate him?”
“Because he wronged me.”
“The wrong is past. You must let it rest where it lies.”
A Wife says to her Husband: “Husband, today I fought with my enemy.”
Her Husband says: “Why did you fight with your enemy?”
“Because I spoke cruel words to her.”
“My wife, why did you speak cruel words to her?”
“Because I believed them to be true.”
“Then you must no longer think cruel thoughts. Cruel thoughts lead to cruel words, and hurt you as much as they hurt your target.”
(The following section was part of the original manifesto, but was later removed.)
One friend says to Another: “Friend, today I fought with my enemy.”
The Other Friend says: “Why did you fight with your enemy?”
“Because they were about to hurt you.”
“Friend, why did you defend me?”
“Because I love you.”
“Then I am grateful.”
Dishonesty Is Rampant.
Dishonesty Is Temporary.
Dishonesty Makes Evil Possible.
As it stands now, lies pervade society, families, and even the internal life of the individual. One group lies to another group, parents lie to children, children lie to parents, individuals lie to themselves. Dishonesty has become so integral to the way we relate to one another that we rarely find ourselves in authentic relationships with others. Our dark secrets remain our own. Yet it is our secrets that cause conflict. When we are dishonest with the people around us, we begin to hate ourselves for lying; when we are dishonest with ourselves, we can never attempt to correct the flaws we find within us, the flaws we are so desperate to hide from our loved ones, the flaws that make us lie. What has become clear is that lies are just a temporary solution to a permanent problem. Lying to spare a person’s feelings, even when the truth would help them to improve, damages them in the long run. Lying to protect yourself lasts for so long before the truth emerges. Like a wild animal, the truth is too powerful to remain caged. These are examples we clearly see in our own lives, yet we fail to understand that they do not just apply to the dynamic between ourselves and our neighbors, or ourselves and our friends. What is society but a web of individual-to-individual relationships? And what is conflict except one person’s dark secret crashing into another person’s dark secret? Dishonesty is a veil that shields one person from another. Dishonesty allows evil to persist, hidden from eyes of those who would fight it. Dishonesty Leads to Suspicion. Suspicion Leads to Conflict. Honesty Leads to Peace. We have a vision of an honest world. In this world, parents do not lie to their children, and children do not lie to their parents do not lie to their parents; friends do not lie to one another; spouses do not lie to each other. When we are asked our opinions we are free to give them without having to consider any other responses. When we engage in conversation with others, we do not have to evaluate their intentions, because they are transparent. We have no suspicion, and no one suspects us. And most of all – yes, above all else – we are free to expose our dark secrets because we know the dark secrets of our neighbors, our friends, our spouses, our children, our parents, and our enemies. We know that while we are flawed in a unique way, we are not unique because we are flawed. Therefor we can be authentic. We have no suspicions. And we are at peace with those around us. Truth ‘Makes ‘Us ‘Transparent. ‘Truth Makes Us Strong. Truth Makes Us Inextricable We will raise our children to tell the truth. We will do this by encouraging them to speak their minds at every moment. For the child, withholding words is the same as lying. We will be honest with our children even at the expense of their feelings. The only reason people cannot bear honesty now is because they were not raised hearing the truth about themselves, and they can’t stand to. If children are raised to hear both honest praise and honest criticism, they will not be so fragile as to crumble beneath the scrutiny of their peers. A life of truth makes us strong. Adulthood will be defined as a time at which each member of society is capable of bearing every other member’s dark secrets, just as every other member will be subjected to The Full Unveiling in which every hidden part of their life is laid bare before their fellow members. They, too, will see the hidden parts of their fellow members’ lives. In this way we bear one another’s secrets. In this way we become inextricable. Truth Makes Us Inextricable.