Remembering Honor

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.

Why do we accept Alcohol so easily into our society?

I have struggled for awhile now to come to terms with our societal acceptance of alcohol. It is so pervasive, seeped into every nook and cranny of cultures around the world, and yet for all its supposed acclaim, the damage it inflicts upon people of all walks of life is so tremendous I am just astounded that we allow it such free reign.

Let’s get straight to the facts. Alcohol is a POISON, that is what creates those loving effects of delirium and joy. Your frontal cortex, the part of your brain that stops you from doing really BAD things is practically shut down by this poison, and as logical would lead us to believe, people end up doing immensely regretful things while under the influence of alcohol.

Human beings are petty overall, we hold grudges over stupidities, very few of us have any real hold on our emotions, we are easily hurt, become angry over the smallest of things, overall we are not bastions of control and humility. Most of us are just insecure children attempting to pretend that now that we are a bit older we know what the hell we are doing with ourselves.

Throw in alcohol into this mix and you have a shit show.

Yes, the majority of people who drink do not drink until they are drunk out of their minds and do not cause harm to others. But there is more ways to harm others and ourselves then getting into a car accident or attacking another physically.  Families are torn apart year after year due to alcohol abuse, and the damage it inflicts on friendships and intimate relationships is just as large. Verbal and physical abuse happens daily all over the world because peoples self control has been stripped away by alcohol.

Now let’s be real here, you do not need to be an alcoholic to have major problems happen in your life because of alcohol. And many people these days drink to a point where they are practically alcoholics even if they do not realize it.

The problem is that people use alcohol as a way to self medicate. Even alcoholics do this. People do not become addicted to a substance solely because of that substance. It just happens to be what they used to drown out their pain when they were younger and it stuck with them as they grew up. Some of us are lucky and become addicted to more positive things like writing or painting or music or a host of other hobbies that do not damage ourselves and others in the same way as alcohol does.

People who deem themselves non-alcoholics but who need a glass or two of wine to “relax” at the end of the day are medicating themselves to deal with stress instead of finding more positive outlets. People who go out and drink every week and who need alcohol simply to be able to have fun are using it to deal with anxiety and nervousness, instead of asking themselves the question ‘ why am I not comfortable enough in my own skin to have fun with my friends without drinking all this alcohol’?.

There are almost no positive benefits to alcohol, and even the bit of research we find on improvements in health in regards to beer or wine do not come close to the amount of deaths and psychological damage alcohol causes rampantly throughout our society, and frankly I am tired of people making excuses for this.

We all need to grow up, it makes no sense that alcohol and cigarettes are legal when they are so destructive, yet other drugs are illegal when in comparison to the former they can offer much more constructive benefits to individuals when done in a controlled setting.

Just because we want to give people the freedom of choice does not mean we should allow people access to things that could cause them to harm others.  We are all in this together.