Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Lean into the what?
In trying to help Sheryl Sandberg deal with the great grief of losing her husband, her Rabbi told her to "lean into the suck." Try giving that advice to the Israel Defense Forces who like all good warriors must be stoic in victory or in defeat. With the founding of Israel the Jews finally learned that being arrogant in victory and cringing in defeat is dangerous for survival (although they seem to make an exception in endlessly moaning about the Holocaust). And the Rabbi must be a liberal---there is the typical clunky vulgarity of leaning into the suck which resembles the clunky vulgarity of modern poetry. And of course there is the standard sexual reference.
Well, leaning into the suck seems to have helped Sandberg individualistically cope, and I suppose that's good. But her book on the experience will influence millions. The gentleman's code, which was basically stoic, as Philip Mason put it, was a sub-Christian warrior chivalrous code without theology but derived from the ethics of Christianity and was merciful but not bewailing. Western civilization was not built on leaning into the suck, and it falls when it does.