California, USA - A greater threat than persecution and exile looms upon the horizon for the Chaldean community. This evil threat reaches across the ocean and mingles plainly and openly in sight. It has succeeded in destroying most every culture that has forgotten from whence they came. Its weapons are subtle and will surely devastate the Chaldean community if not addressed. The threat can be best expressed by Gilbert Chesterton, perhaps one of the western world’s most thoughtful writers of the 20th century, “When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.”
As Chaldeans absorb into their new lands, the challenge becomes to seize the greatness of our host country while cuddling the beauty of the Chaldean way. Failing to do so will make us ungrateful and vulnerable. To take being Chaldean for granted is just another way of being conquered and converted. One evil is by the sword and fueled by an intense fire of hatred while the other is a slow boil of indifference, deceit, and arrogance. Both conquer and convert the weak placing the entire community at risk of loss.
On the other hand, the strong remain steadfast. They gain strength from their roots and help feed the Chaldean community by participating and being involved. You know them, you see them, and you admire their strength in faith and passion for their community. They celebrate, join, and lead the events that are uniquely Chaldean. They are involved in helping to strengthen Chaldean churches, Chaldean organizations, Chaldean events, Chaldean businesses, and the Chaldean way of life.
For anyone that calls themselves Chaldean they must acknowledge it is because of these leaders, volunteers, and community minded Chaldean citizens. We owe them a debt of gratitude for being involved and allowing us to proudly call ourselves Chaldean.
In contrast, the weak clothed in low self-esteem and confidence of any culture are filled with self-hate and detest their roots. They condemn, criticize, and besmirch their cultural way of life. Be it Jew, Arab, Italian, Irish, or Chaldean they would rather curse the darkness than light a candle for the community. They attempt to justify their actions, but the bottom line is they reject the teachings and wisdom of the Chaldean way. We only need to paraphrase Chesterton, “The Chaldean ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.” There are plenty of opportunities to learn more about what it means to be Chaldean; what it means to be Catholic
For anyone to say they love Chaldean must first understand that, “The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost.” And then involve themselves in saving it.
Ray Yono is a Ph.D. candidate from Stanford University studying philosophy and mathematics. His thought provoking ideas in predictive social behavior modeled mathematically have earned him a fellowship in Europe. Some of his more current work is being used in software games and virtual simulations to model intelligent characters that act more like humans. Questions or comments regarding his article can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with an attention to Ray Yono.