The Ai-Naidar hold with certain philosophical principles that underly their Civilization. These are at times stated outright within the stories of their people, but at other times are simply invoked by action or belief.
Ambition is a terrible burden on society. The goal of one's life should not be to find the best place... but to find the right place. To be invested in any other philosophy is to bar contentment from one's life. -- The Calligrapher
To move from one station in life to another, voluntarily or not, is a frightening thing. It is difficult to contemplate change of such magnitude.
People don't start out life virtuous. They must be taught. -- Shame
The Ai-Naidar have a tendency toward homogenization. An open one, as opposed to the hot/cold relationship we have with it versus individualism. They wouldn't want to speak differently in different regions; if they do, it is not a matter of local pride, but a matter to be corrected the next time a linguist becomes available... if indeed, they don't send for one themselves.
There is a strong sense that you have to be given a clean slate if you have been forgiven and paid your dues. Otherwise, society accumulates criminals (particularly in a society with rules as rigid and numerous as Kherishdar) that it can do nothing more with.
Belonging is more important than being special. Wholeness cannot be personal. You cannot exist outside the context of the universe, so the epiphany is that which erases those boundaries.
The Ai-Naidar are apt to doing social planning on a large scale, and on a long timeline. They are a very inclusive society and work in various ways to find what a person's isha is and how to help them embrace that. If your soul whispers that one thing is not enough, it seems like there are methods in place to help a person find where they truly belong.
What good is obedience if one is not willing to render it unto death? If a person in power knows that their orders will be followed only if their orders are good, then what incentive do they ever have to learn to give good orders? They know their mistakes will have no consequences, so they can be sloppy. We attempt to create virtue in our leaders by telling them if they become corrupt or make mistakes, they will kill or hurt others. People don't start out life virtuous. They must be taught. [Our system] requires a certain level of maturity to function, and so it must attempt to instill that level by its nature. -- Shame
A person is not an object to be wanted.
Torture, gathe, is pain or suffering without purpose or result. Pain that has a useful result isn't torture. Extraction of information or obedience is a legitimate use of pain, and so it is not gathe. Pain may be experienced in childbirth, etc. or applied to stop another from being harmed, to heal, or in Correction.
That you can have some good come of pain and suffering and crisis is a redeeming and wonderful thing: that even bad experiences can have purpose is one of our birthrights. We can transform the entropic into the transcendent.
Caste has nothing to do with privilege, or even inherent worth. Responsibility. Indeed, that is the word from which hhaza, "caste-rank," is derived. The higher your rank, the more people you are responsible for. It is that simple. That is how a Public Servant is higher in caste than a Merchant, for that our work affects more people, and higher again than a Servant, because their service is personal and affects only one person, or a household, where mine might affect an entire district.
But the Servant's service is no less important because of the scope of their work. To undertake the welfare of a single person is as difficult a service as to offer the same to hundreds. Intimacy brings its own challenges. Without the farmer, there is no food, yes?
But we respect those above the Wall of Birth because they undertake a very difficult task on our behalf, and they do so with grace and a great attention to detail. We love our lords, aunerai, because they love us. We are beholden to each other. -- The Calligrapher
Without shame, there is no civilization. Shame permits Correction and restoration to civilization.
It is customary for Ai-Naidar to "hide" technology from obvious view to keep it from being obtrusive. They feel that most technology draws them from the things they value (in-person social connections, etc).
People fear me because I speak uncompromising truths and point out inevitable consequences. They have no idea how much more reasonable I am than someone who holds gentleness and harmony as higher virtues. -- Shame