During my classes with students of sociology I have the subject ‘Poland for beginners’. I display them a slide of photos presenting two men who are holding the Polish flag on the top of a mountain. I ask my students: Why, do you think, wanting to climb the mountain to reach the top, they took an additional non-practical object – this flag?

We do not comprise everything with thoughts

Social life consists of what is rational and non-rational. It consists of what we can comprise with our thoughts and what is impossible to express with words. What is ‘rationality’ of carrying the Polish flag in the dangerous mountainous trip? What does it mean?

Among visions of development – because in today’s epoch development is compulsory – Poles are presented with the concept of modernization through de-polonization and de-Christianization. Here a thought comes to our mind that our heritage, our past, that Catholicism – all this – is in fact a kind of a burden like something inhibiting our energy. And when we get rid of the past, then we will gain the European wind in our sails and modernization will start. We will introduce partnership couples, we will encourage everybody to change their sexes a few time in their life, smoke marijuana or other means powering mind and we will not worry that public means are spent without any limits.

A community or a jumble?

It is a vision of development which means de-subjectivity of Poland and Poles. Jumble deprived of sources of identity, which grow from the past, stops being a community, it stops being able to define its interest independently. Such a community becomes a client of other powers – foreign countries, international corporations, becomes a ‘nation’ of sub-suppliers.

In fact this vision of building motorways and bridges which will not be infrastructure of development, thanks to which we will be better organized and innovative. This building motorways, with which young Poles will emigrate to other better organized countries in an accelerated pace. To such countries whose elites, that is, groups of educated people, would not even think about deprivation of themselves of the Britishness, Germanness or Frenchness.

Code of Polishness

There is another vision beside this vision of modernization through de-Polonization. The one which is expressed in compatriots with Polish flags, who from all over country are arriving in Rome for canonization of John Paul II as pilgrims. IN compatriots who are looking for their dignity not only in material signs of ‘progress’. In compatriots who want to remember heritage of Solidarity and call for Solidarity which we heard from the mouth of the Polish Pope.

I think that the men with the Polish flag on the top of a mountain on the photo do not want to be given a role of fervent consumers, competent workers or people looking for strong impressions in extreme sports. They might have not formulated it so directly but I think that they feel what is following: The nation is vital, reaches for sources which are of this nature that they will survive every disaster. The sources whose imagination reaches beyond what is natural. Therefore, as it used to be at the times of partitions, wars and other serious oppressions, today many Poles resort to the Church – which has been with the state for a thousand years.

The Western civilization of freedom and welfare bewilders many people today. However, thanks to the cultural and organizational sphere of the Church, many people feel that in difficult situations Poland can be strengthened only such links of the code of Polishness which have their sources in what comes from the human search of eternity.

If we are to maintain ability for a long march, march to Poland, which our children will not be ashamed of, from which they will not emigrate, it will be better to reach for the roots whose empowerment goes beyond the presence, regardless of being a believer or not.

If it is true that Poland is only when we want it, we can no longer allow for being people of poor faith.


"Niedziela" 20/2014

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: