Impulses: Virtues (Part V)

Let’s have a look at another virtue, shall we! I remember having had quite a difficult relationship with this one, which is

~ Honor ~

This is not something I grew up with. Oh wait, that didn’t come out right. 😀 Although I grew up in a very virtuous family – everybody wanted to do what’s “right”, kindness was very appreciated etc. – I never heard of this word except for my rare contacts with Anime (many Animes of my childhood were about fighting for the hero’s honor) and the middle ages (knighthood would be all about honor as well). Honor is something unnecessary because we are already perfect the way we are, we don’t have to fight for anything – that’s pretty much what I was taught.

You see how this virtue has got me thinking. Because nowadays I do believe honor is a real and great thing, a kind of promise we make just for ourselves: To try and be the best version of ourselves. Or, as Mandela put it, “There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” It’s about living up to your own standards.

“The virtue of honor is expressed first by being honest with oneself and with others. Honor also means to live up to your commitments, keep your agreements, and honor your word. It is often said that, “A Witch’s word is her bond.” So, uphold that bond by saying what you mean, meaning what you say, and doing what you say you will.

Honor also refers to living by […] whatever ethical system you embrace.” ~ thelma

Now, I’m afraid I’ll make this a collection of lovely quotes, because this explanation makes me think of another one by Paulo Coelho: “If you want to be successful, you must respect one rule: Never lie to yourself.”
I have learned last year how true this is and how easy it is to get caught in this trap. Prettifying facts is the first step. Saying “I don’t know” although you actually do. Looking consciously away. This is lying. I was fortunate to learn this under kind circumstances, in a loving relationship (which, on the other hand, probably made it more difficult to get out of the trap).
Honesty is the main weapon against it. The good old ‘Listen to your heart’, because your heart knows. It just does. And believe me, the earlier you decide to face the truth, the better. Because it will get harder and harder. On the other hand, let me tell you that it’s never too late. Never.

You know, I am greatful for having learned how to not be honorable, because now I understand the dynamics behind it, and having experienced something enables you to feel true compassion. Also, I’m grateful because I think this will help me to be more ‘honorable’, more honest with myself, in the future, maybe under more difficult circumstances.
Honor means honesty and living up to your own standards. I think it’s an absolutely formidable virtue.


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