Serious Sunday: Honor

From January 2015:

The quality of knowing and doing what is morally right Oxford Dictionaries

A sense of principled uprightness of character, a code of integrity, dignity and pride Free Dictionary

Allegiance to moral principals [Collins English Dictionary 2011 Edition]

High moral standards of behavior Merriam-Webster

I love the name of honor, more than I fear death. Julius Caesar

I would prefer even to fail with honor than win by cheating.
Sophocles […

Honour is purchas’d by the deeds we do. Christopher Marlowe […


When was the last time you met an honorable man (or woman…I use this word as gender neutral herein)? More importantly when was the last time you saw one in the mirror?

My favorite definition is the first one…the quality of KNOWING and DOING what is right. It illustrates that knowledge alone is not sufficient. Actions upon that knowledge is what marks us as different. It is both how we think and how we act that distinguishes as honorable men.

In some ways, I have come to believe that honor is that perishing commodity that separates us from other animals. Without honor, we blindly follow. We do what feels good. We do whatever is popular. We do whatever it takes to make money…more money…ever more and MORE money. We seek power…only to abuse the powerless. If our minds are shallow, then our souls are hallow without honor.

But these days, we fail to teach our children what is right. As parents, we work so long and hard to have the things of this world that we come home too exhausted to spend any time with our children. Then we send them to schools, where the playground bully rules and the teachers do nothing. What lesson of honor is that? Surprisingly the only place that teaches children honor these days is television…I challenge you to spend time watching children’s television. You might learn quite a few lessons about honor…friendship, honesty and many other admirable qualities.

Then we go out into the world to work…and honor becomes a liability rather than the virtue that it is meant to be. The honorable worker becomes the one that is burdened not only with his work, but half the others as well. And when decisions must be made, tough ones, doing what is right is so low down the totem pole as not to even be mentioned.

We come home at the end of the day to…Internet porn that has replaced the intimacy of marriage…cheating…adultery…or even just contention and strife that tears our homes apart and alienates our children. Couples are no longer friends and partners committed to one another and their obligation to their children. Each is out to make sure that he or she gets the part end of this ‘battle of the sexes.’ And we are all losers.

There is a saying about ‘honor among thieves’ but these days not even our rulers, our police, our bankers seem capable of a smidgeon of this lost quality. We cannot find honor even in our places of faith. Greed, power and lust motivate our preachers. Other religions have been adulterated by anger and hatred of anyone who does not worship as they do. And our rulers/politicians…do we even want to go there?

Where is this dying quality of honor?

Hopefully, we can begin to look for it in the most important place of all…the mirror. Then if enough of us find it there…and nurture its dying flame…perhaps we can together shine brightly enough to lead our world out of the darkness into which it had fallen.

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