Image: Atakpame Family House, Togo, West Africa.

To Build. The Three Duties: Courage, Submission & Compassion.

Our Ancestors in NTOABOMA have known This Way for Two Thousand or so years:

You cannot belong without submission. To belong is to submit. You cannot belong in your own way. Those who say such things are without the courage to become compassionate. To submit is to have compassion. Compassion for your compatriots and for posterity.

Those without compassion claim that they can belong in their own ways. They are selfish. Selfish people, by definition, do not have compassion. Selfish people encourage individualism—rugged individualism at that. They externalize their internal chaos. Selfish people lack the courage to have compassion. They have no skin in the game.

To belong is a duty. A duty to have compassion. A duty to submit to something greater than oneself. To belong is natural. A child yearns at a very early age to belong to its Mother and Father. Over time, the child learns first to submit to the Family if it wishes to continue to belong to the Family. The child learns about duty. So although a child yearns to belong to its Mother and Father, the child is taught over time that the Price of this Belonging involves the Sacrifice of Compassion—the duty to be compassionate to the family.

When the child becomes an adult, the child then learns the ultimate sacrifice: the duty to have its own family, to continue in the family tradition—to keep the family alive. It is at this point that the adult has learned to have compassion also on posterity.

What is the point? First, one yearns as a child to belong. This is natural. Second, one must learn to belong—how to belong. These three duties: Courage, Submission, and Compassion. Third, the adult gives compassion freely to Family-making, and then lastly the adult becomes a teacher of these three duties to the Family: Courage, Submission and Compassion. This is how you build. This is The Way.


(Image: Atakpame Family House, Togo, West Africa).


  1. Insightful lesson that would be of great use to those people in the world who for psychopathic tendencies or otherwise lack all three characteristics and for the people who have not yet considered what their respective traditional cultures have to offer to their own philosophies and to the world.


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