Monday, January 3, 2011

Some Thoughts On Honor

Honor is an interesting concept. Generally people regard it as either some kind of archaic ideal or some kind of ethereal, strange, and unattainable goal. Something that is quite nice to think about but in reality does not exist. The kind of thing which used to exist long ago, at least we think it did, but it no longer exists in the way that we though it did. That is, if it ever existed at all. I think this is an interesting idea to think about, quite frankly because I am somewhat obsessed with it. Every day I walk through stone arches which bear the ultimatum to “Return With Honor.” Nothing more, nothing less. It makes me wonder if there would be some kind of consequence about not living with honor, let alone retuning to my dorm with it. Another building that I frequent states “Honor, the Guiding Star.”

The New Oxford American Dictionary defines honor as “1. high respect; esteem.” This kind of definition suits me for the most part however it leaves some to be desired. I am sure that generally when we think of honor we think of something more, something deeper than just a definition from a dictionary. Even for me, who likes to examine the world through what I consider a very logical lens find it…lacking. What do we think about then when we think of Honor? Stories.

We all think about the stories that we were told when we were young. I think of the tale of St. George and the Dragon, in which a brave and noble knight endures great battles with an evil beast to secure the safety of a kingdom and people, but also win the favor of a fair lady. I think of Pilgrim’s Progress and how Sir Greatheart secures the voyage of Christina to the Celestial City. And I think of Reepicheep the Mouse from C.S. Lewis’ genius who often made errors playing chess "For his mind was full of forlorn hopes, death-or-glory charges, and last stands." This I think is some of the very essence of what the mystery is for me in defining honor. I want to define it because I want to live it. I want to live it because it seems to me to be the best way to live for God while serving Him and everyone else that I care about.

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