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Honor

Honor is one of those words that people use more than they seem to actually understand. We accept it as a virtue, but often confuse it with the word pride.
     
When Chivalry-Now refers to honor, it has something very specific in mind. It is not referring to pride, which wraps itself in ego and lends itself to conceit. Honor is a certain level of achievement in reflecting chivalric principles. One might call it having a reputation for moral integrity, but it is more than even that. It is a living commitment to right action, a commitment so strong that it shapes a person's conscience. It is a dedication of self to something greater than oneself. Not another being, or human authority, although that sometimes comes with it, but to human ideals. It is the fusion of the soul with virtue, and therefore the epitome of manliness.
     
A man who has honor is a man people can trust: honest, well-intentioned, and strongly committed to good. He is an oasis in a desert wasteland, worthy of praise, yet avoiding it at the same time. In other words he has the inner qualities of a hero.
     
His concern with reputation goes to the extent that reputation provides a measure of success. A man who willfully earns a poor reputation has little honor indeed.
     
When pride enhances a commitment to honor, it provides something good. This is not to be confused with ego-pride, for which reputation becomes the end-all in itself. It is human-pride, an inner motivation to do the right and moral action, not for show or credit, but out of love and respect for human nature.
     
Integrity is natural to a man of honor. So it concern for others.
     To clarify this definition, let us examine what it is not.

  • There is no honor in boasting or belittling other people.
  • There is no honor in dulling one's mind and judgment with alcohol or drugs, for doing so detracts from your completeness and response to the moment.
  • There is no honor in harming innocent people, in victimizing or controlling women, or in delighting in gossip.
  • There is no honor in making false promises, or misleading people from the truth.
  • There is no honor in smearing a political opponent with lies or half-truths.
  • There is no honor in in cheating or breaking a vow.
  • There is no honor in not rising to the cause of justice when the opportunity calls for it.
  • There is no honor in winning at all cost, when that cost compromises the integrity of your soul.
  • There is no honor in being false in matters of love.

To this I add that only the man of honor is really a man in the eyes of chivalry, the Code of Male Virtue. For here we find truth and beauty and human value, and the wellspring of our soul.

 

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