The Daniel syndrome

I call Daniel syndrome something that makes you decide or act like Daniel in Daniel 3:1-14. You don’t need to be a Christian; everybody can develop a Daniel syndrome in certain situations.

Daniel was a successful and trusted employee of a rich person, king Nebuchadnezzar. But one day his boss had the idea to build a statue of himself and demand that everybody should follow a given rite to show reverence to this statue. And Daniel refused to follow that rite, as his religious conviction asked him to do. Refusing to assist in some rite that has been installed by your boss, that’s a very stupid thing to do when you have a well-paid job.

I guess that Daniel himself had serious hesitations and doubts about what to do. He knew that refusing would be the end end of his career or even his life. I guess that his friends advised him to stop being stupid. And still he refused to perform the rite. From the stories before this, we can assume that Daniel was a reasonable and even wise person. How can a reasonable and wise person be so stubborn, unrelenting, uncompromising and resistant to advice?

Georges Brassens suggests “Mourir pour des idées? D’accord, mais de mort lente.”