“I love the name of honor, more than I fear death.” – from Julius Caesar
Honor is like instinct. Most people think it doesn’t exist.
That’s because they don’t have any.
What is Honor?
If you have to ask that question, you don’t have any.
This is the part where I’m supposed to give you a screen cap of a definition. I’m not going to do that.
What is honor?
- And Above All, Honor is Personal.
Honor is Respect
To honor a man is to respect him. I’ve never respected a man who had no honor.
This doesn’t mean that an honorable man never makes mistakes. It’s actually the opposite.
An honorable man faces his mistakes.
Every man has made mistakes, and will make several more. The most honorable men make several mistakes and face them all.
The man who flees from the world and seeks the safety of home is neither honorable nor respectable.
He is a coward.
We do not respect cowards, and we certainly don’t honor them. We scorn cowards.
The coward is the most miserable wretch of a person that he could be.
He is ruled by fear and will never know honor. He will never know pride. These are sacrificed for safety.
The coward’s life is folly.
Memento Mori – Remember, you are human. Remember, you will die.
The honorable man will die an honorable death. The coward will die a coward’s death.
Both are human, and both will die.
The difference between their deaths is that the honorable man will be remembered.
Honor is Reverence
If honor is respect, and reverence is the highest form of respect, then to be revered is to be highly honored.
I don’t know about you, but I have never revered a dishonorable man. If you do, then you’re dishonorable.
Reverence is one step below worship.
Polytheistic religions revere their gods more than they worship them. This can be hard for us to grasp in the modern world.
To ancient men, their gods were like honored family to be given gifts and asked for wisdom or assistance. Honored family is something we also have a shortage of in the modern world.
Some will be able to understand.
If a man’s father was a truly honorable man then that man will be the most revered man in his son’s life.
Reverence is one step above respect.
We revere the honored dead.
If you can look upon a room filled with coffins draped in flags and not be overcome in reverence for at least a moment, you didn’t deserve to benefit from their deaths.
You most certainly benefited from their deaths, because you’re not in a coffin of your own. Don’t forget that they asked not to die, but to kill.
“No dumb bastard ever won a war by going out and dying for his country. He won it by making some other dumb bastard die for his country.” – G. S. Patton
They killed for you so that you could retain your safety, both of body and of mind. Cowardice has a price.
If you refuse to revere them, go read something else. You can’t understand honor.
Honor is Commitment
An honorable man is committed. Sloth and uncertainty are not honorable traits.
To have honor is to be committed with such savage ferocity that you appear insane. A man possessed.
Those who can’t commit are cowards who will never know honor, or pride, or power.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt
Honor is Righteousness
What is it, aside from audacity and determination, that makes an honorable man worthy of respect and even reverence?
The honorable are righteous. Righteous men know where the lines between right and wrong are drawn.
Righteous men do not cross these lines.
It’s one thing for a man to make mistakes, or to misjudge the consequences of his actions. It’s another thing entirely for him to knowingly commit an atrocity.
An honorable man will never harm the weak, even if he knows their weakness is their own fault.
If he is a man of the people, he will try to help them. If he isn’t, he will allow them to wallow in their cowardice unmolested.
The honorable man slays dragons, not peasants. Righteous men take the fight to the corrupt.
It isn’t honorable for a man to turn his righteous fury on the weak. Instead, he seeks the most powerful of corrupt men and attacks him with as much fervor as he can muster.
The weak but moral onlookers will see this battle. Drawn to it like spectators to the arena.
They revere and respect him for fighting their battle for them, because they would do the same thing if they could tear themselves away from their cowardice and comfort.
They will honor the righteous man for this, if they have even a shred of honor themselves.
Above All, Honor is Personal
Righteousness is dependent on shared morals.
The guerilla is more loved by the people than the armies of the tyrant. The soldier hates the guerilla for killing his brothers.
Your morals are not facts, they are not concrete. Your morals are abstractions that hold absolute power in your life.
The man you honor might be the man I reject.
Commitment is only as valuable as what you’re committed to.
A man who is committed to himself is a socialist’s nightmare. A capitalist knows a man can’t help anyone before he helps himself.
Your values are not facts, they are not concrete. Your values are abstractions that hold absolute power in your life.
The man you honor might be the man I reject.
Reverence and Respect are dependent on shared morals and values.
There are no good men and bad men in war, unless you find yourself on one side or the other.
The truth is that there is only you and them. Self and other. Same and different.
Honor is personal, as it should be.
Honor is highly individual, even when there are huge crowds of individuals who agree.
The only honorable man you should concern yourself with is yourself, because that is the only man you can control.
Your honor, your name, is your most valuable possession.
It takes a lifetime to make your mark on the world, but it only takes an instant to tarnish your honor.