I have been thinking about the concept of Honor for awhile now.
I think for most people these days, especially in western culture, the idea of acting with honor simply does not enter into their minds, possibly for their whole lives. It is not surprising considering it is a pretty archaic idea, predominantly associated with knights and nobility. I would say when looking back on History, the idea of Honor was mostly ridiculous.
How many thousands of Men killed others in the name of their offended Honor? people would grow enraged at the simple thought that someone was slandering them, and would call them out in defense of their so called Honor. These are simply insecurities manifesting as violence.
True Honor to me is a matter of oaths. How someone speaks of you or to you, what other people do, all these things do not matter. What truly matters is that one sticks to a set of values or ideals and stakes their Honor on upholding those ideals against all odds.
Now this can be twisted in some ways as well, many knights and soldiers would remain true and loyal to lords or kingdoms that they knew were wrong and corrupt simply because they had sworn an oath and would not back down from it for fear of tarnishing their Honor, but this is unacceptable to me as well.
Honor is internal, it is loyalty to a set of ideas, not a person. Now you can find that someone is worthy of your loyalty because they embody the values that you hold dear, and so you focus on protecting them, guiding them, helping them in any way you can. But to follow a madman simply because you swore an oath is the same as tearing out a piece of your own soul.
Real Honor is what we are sorely lacking in this modern day and age. You only hear about it from soldiers, most of whom are just brainwashed peons for the governments, not even understanding why they are doing what they are doing, simply obeying orders.
But to truly take the time to think about who you want to be and what ideals you wish to aspire towards and focusing all your effort on honorably following them, now that is something worthy of praise.
I have failed again and again in my life due to a lack of discipline and focus on what is important, but there is always another chance to pick up the pieces and try again.
Honor can be a guide when used wisely.