Sworn to Say Nothing
Not many people know this about me, but I’m a sucker for etymology. I love learning about the origin of the words we use today. Many English words started many centuries ago in the Middle Ages, and many more come from Greek or Latin.
The words “secret” and “secrecy” come from the Latin or French meaning to set something apart and not to include it in whatever you are saying.
The word “professional” comes from a religious connotation and speaks of professing or stating your allegiance to a religious order.
It was originally about commitment, but in the industrial revolution, it evolved to mean a person that does something with the expectation of gaining a return. This is in contrast to an amateur, who does the same act out of the joy and love they derive from it.
I like to say that a professional is one who can perform whatever action is constructive in the pursuit of a goal by managing their emotion, logic, and intuition in such a way that they don’t compromise on any in the hopes that they will benefit.
Nowhere is this development of emotional, mental, and intellectual skills more apparent than in the recently released Netflix documentary Camp Confidential: America’s Secret Nazis, which describes the case of the camp called P.O. Box 1142, where captured Nazis who were thought to be essential for America’s war efforts, first against Germany and then against the Soviets, were secretly brought to U.S. soil and given residence in this country club-style camp where they were made to feel at ease while the soldiers in charge were tasked with pleasing them and obtaining valuable information.
The paradox about the whole thing was that the soldiers chosen for the mission were German-Jewish refugees who escaped Nazi Germany in the late 1930s on the last boats out of Europe.
Those Jews applied for citizenship so they could enlist and be shipped to Europe to fight but were instead given a secret mission to boost the morale of the high-ranking German captives and make them feel like kings so they would lower their defenses and primarily share with America’s military intelligence the details of the rocket program along with Soviet capabilities.
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Jewish people who knew that many of their family members, friends, and acquaintances were victims of the war machine were being asked to “play nice” with the developers of Nazi weaponry and death camp engineering, serve them drinks, play tennis, and have social relations with them so they would lay out their knowledge in return without showing their utter hatred to them.
In order for America and its allies to win the war, they’d have to suppress their emotions and their need for justice and the world to make sense.
I can’t think of a more professional soldier needing to balance the greater good with their personal story and the atrocities they’ve had to endure.
A professional investor uses logic and reasoning power to understand businesses and leverage emotions to their advantage by not joining euphoria and not succumbing to depression and distress.
I have gone to great lengths to find the balance between these in my life. In the months ahead, I want to share with you my list of the 16 best businesses in the world to own that comprise my own private portfolio, and I will do that with the intent that you take my list as a kickstart to doing your own research on these.
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