By David P Shirk
Honor – honesty, fairness, or integrity in one’s beliefs and actions. Though there are other definitions of the word, I will be using this as the focus. As it is, honor is a quality of character that serves any people who wish to gain and hold their freedoms.
To me, honor is not about saying one thing in doing another. If you truly believed in something enough, then you would stand up for it with all you had. Likewise there is nothing more dishonorable then wanting something, and then pushing for someone else to get it for you. In addition, there is no honor to be found in preaching a system of beliefs, yet refusing to take the lion’s share of the responsibility of enforcing said beliefs.
A problem occurs when you have a belief in something, yet lack the knowledge, conviction, or strength to see it through. Many people want the meddling in the Middle East to continue. Yet very few of these would put their lives behind them, grab a rifle and go fight there themselves. There is no honor there – only a primal response of fear of the unknown. Many people want to make everyone equal and happy, yet lack the means to do so thus encouraging the theft from those who have to give to those who have not. There is no honor there – only misplaced intentions. Everyone knows that the United States is in trouble, yet precious few bother to do the research as to why. So they take a quarter of a fact and act upon it with gusto. Yet this is not a conviction of the honorable type. It is the conviction of the town fool who always wonders why no one listens to him.
I am not cruel. I am not anti-war because I think killing is wrong period. I am not against human rights. And no, I am not a hater of our Nation. I just recognize that for every action there is a reaction. I recognize that for the millions who need help, that their needs will be abused and taken advantage of by those who lust for power. I recognize that without deeds, faith is meaningless. I recognize that a dependence for basic needs to be meant creates subjects – not citizens. I recognize that without merit, there is no point to being free. Honor is more than a noble trait. It is one of the pillars needed for any free society to remain.
Though it is not honorable to take from others and give it out for whatever the reason, it is honorable to produce more yourself, and spread the extra around. Though there is no honor is taking up greedy pursuits as a hobby, there is nothing wrong with saving for the future – when the day comes when you grow too old and tired to work. No honor lies in killing for a cause not your own or for profit. Yet honor can be found for one who fights when his own livelihood, or that of his family is being taken. Finally, there is no honor in standing up for someone else who is more than capable of doing so for themselves. Yet there is great honor to defending the broken, the widowed, and the less fortunate.
Yet tens of millions scream for an army to protect them from an enemy they do not even know. Tens of millions seek to take from those barely getting by to give to those who are not. The powerful have not used their influence to stamp out corruption – they have used their might to make a nation of subjects. The wise and learned have abused their knowledge – opting instead to use their credentials not to the betterment of society, but to obtain a more favorable position for themselves.
Why is that? Did the strong give up on helping the weak? Did the well off decide that the charities should suffer so that they could buy a new Maserati? And did the brains grow so contemptuous of the whole mess that they allowed ambition and greed to overcome their sense of honor?
No. The government promised the strength for security. And failed. The government promised to fulfill their duties to the people. And lost sight of what those duties were. The government promised that ours would be a country to lead the way. Yet having neglected to learn the lessons from their past, have no idea what that way is. Finally, the entire people fell under the illusion that government could accomplish for them what they felt that could not accomplish for themselves – and as result, enslaved themselves to it.
Honor. It is a character trait that should not lie solely in a soldier or public official. It is a trait that every man woman and child should understand and strive for. It is the difference between a public servant and a politician. It is the difference between a soldier of freedom and a mercenary. It is the difference between a peacemaker, and a police officer. It is the difference between a trader, and a swindler. And as for the common man like myself – it is the difference between being master of your own life, or a slave to someone else’s.
There are many honorable people out there. From the poorest ghetto to the richest mansion. From the bloodiest battlefield to the most sacred places of worship. Yet they sit quiet. They know you cannot help someone who does not see themselves as needing or wanting help. They know it is futile to intervene on behalf of a people who would waste their best efforts by taking them for granted, reaping the benefit, and then being the smug survivors when the heroes die broke. They know that they could try to tell the village idiot how to be productive all day and that they would have wasted a day in doing so, for the village idiot will return to his antics at the first sniff of failure. It has happened time and time again throughout history. It is the worst offense a people can give to those who truly want to give them true freedom. Their fear, ignorance, arrogance, and lack of honor drive them deep into a hole. Yet so gradual was the drive that they still believe themselves to be free. Sad really.
If we indeed want a free country, we must learn honor. Having not only the conviction of learning what is right, but acting prudently to prevent wasted effort. Having not only the strength of body, but that of heart as well, so that they might go on long after they hit empty. And finally, having the patience and discernment to guide them, and prevent reckless acts that cause great long term damage. Honor is one of the greatest traits a people can posses, and I think that if it continues to go undervalued, then when we fall, we will never rise again.
So for those of you out there who feel the same – I know there are many of you. You are not now and never have been alone. Now is not the time for you to remain silent – waiting for the collapse with no thought of your fellow man. Educate them. They will hate you for it at the moment, for the truth is a bitter pill to swallow. Yet if we are to remain, you need to rise up, and do what you can – for once the process of collapse starts, it will be too late.