Honesty, fairness, or integrity in ones beliefs, to hold in high respect.

— Honor, 07

honesty, fairness, or integrity in one’s beliefs and actions: a man of honor.
a source of credit or distinction: to be an honor to one’s family.
high respect, as for worth, merit, or rank: to be held in honor.
such respect manifested: a memorial in honor of the dead.
high public esteem; fame; glory: He has earned his position of honor.

Honor : from the Latin, honos, or honoris, meaning – the evaluation of a person’s trustworthiness and social status based on that individual’s integrity and character. That quality signifying approval, distinction, and or respect; the equivalent of reputation. The Greek term used is time, (pronounced ta-may) which literary means value. Here the emphasis is on the value of a person, and the effort to uphold it in high regard. The instruction is to place value on those around us in such a way that their value is above our own. When dealing with others, we should put into play things like trustworthiness, integrity, and status (how they are viewed by others) to assess the character of that person. In doing so we sometimes error by passing judgment on, and condemnation to… them; instead of allowing discernment for evaluation of the person, to be our focus. In keeping with idea of loving one another, addressing the persons need is the goal. Discernment must be used to make a determination of the persons level of approval, distinction, and respect. These are values that must be set in order to supply care at their level of need.

The shortest and surest way to live with honor in the world is to be in reality what we would appear to be; all human virtues increase and strengthen themselves by the practice and experience of them.Socrates

Most of us live the majority of our lives for other people–trying to do what they want us to do, aiming to meet their expectations, and hoping to be seen as we’d like them to see us. Trying to sway perception is exhausting and oftentimes fruitless because we can never dictate what other people think. We don’t get to control our reputation; we only get to shape our character. Today if you find yourself fixating on other people’s perceptions and judgments, shift your focus to what you think about your choices and actions. Are you being someone you’re proud of? If not, what needs to change?

Real honor assumes that the actions of the person honored are worth of respect and imitation. The justification for the acclaim is based on something objective. It is the response one should have to the virtuous person. Not to honor such a person would be wrong. It is worthwhile for me to seek to do deed worthy of honor. This is not because of possible external rewards (fame and fortune), but because in striving to be worthy of honor, I benefit the community and make myself a better person. The community benefits in two ways: directly because helpful actions are performed; indirectly, because there is a good model to be imitated. I benefit because I live a life more in accord with reason and virtue. Honor is due in a number of cases. We should honor those whose selfless actions have helped us, especially our parents. We should also honor those who serve the community—teachers, leaders, coaches, pastors, firemen, and soldiers. We should not honor those who misuse their positions of authority since they abuse the trust of those they should be serving. We should honor accomplishments, whether academic, athletic, or artistic, for they are the results of dedication. Ask yourself, “Is this person worthy of respect?” Is my acclaim paid in celebration of the goodness of this person? If so, my acclaim is honor.

Live With Honor

If you want to be known, then live with Passion.

If you want to be liked, live then with Enthusiasm.

If you want to be respected, then live with Integrity.

If you want to be admired, then live with Class.

If you want to be thought well of, then live with Sincerity.

If you want to be spoken well of, then live with Kindness.

If you want to be trusted, then live with Honesty.

If you want to be loved, then live with Humility.

If you want to be influential, then live with Strength.

If you want to be inspiring, then live with Courage.

If you want to be significant, then live with Intention.

If you want to be successful, then live with Purpose.

If you want to be happy, then live with Gratitude.

If you want to be fulfilled, then live with Excellence.

If you want to be revered, then live with Grace.

If you want to be remembered, then live with Honor.

Content thyself to be obscurely good. When vice prevails, and impious men bear sway, the post of honor is a private station.Joseph Addison
Society honors its living conformists and its dead troublemakers.Mignon McLaughlin
Success without honor is an unseasoned dish; it will satisfy your hunger, but it won’t taste good.Joe Paterno

In Ancient Greece, Athenian youth used to take this oath :

We will never bring disgrace on this our City by an act of dishonesty or cowardice.

We will fight for the ideals and Sacred Things of the City both alone and with many.

We will revere and obey the City’s laws, and will do our best to incite a like reverence and respect in those above us who are prone to annul them or set them at naught.

We will strive increasingly to quicken the public’s sense of civic duty.

Thus in all these ways we will transmit this City, not only not less, but greater and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us.

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.George Bernard Shaw
Be not ashamed of thy virtues; honor’s a good brooch to wear in a man’s hat at all times.B. Johnson

12 Steps To Living An Honorable Life

  1. Be Positive. Start each day with a positive outlook, stay positive, and prepare to enter tomorrow with a positive mindset as well.
  2. Develop Good Habits. Your habits form you, so form good habits.
  3. Develop Good Relationships. Work hard to cultivate & maintain meaningful relationships with quality people.
  4. Learn from Good Sources and Utilize Good Resources. Seek out wisdom from good books and intelligent people.
  5. Make the Most of Every Day. Appreciate each moment, and invest in excellence on a daily basis.
  6. Live With Passion and Purpose. Make the most of everything the world has to offer, and give to the world everything that you have to offer.
  7. Be Eternally Grateful. Don’t take anything for granted, and don’t take anyone for granted.
  8. Have A Vision. Know what you want to do in life, and know who you want to become in life.
  9. Have A Plan. Create a logical plan to help you achieve what you want, and to help you become the person that you desire to be. Then get down to business and execute that plan to the best of your ability.
  10. Be Flexible. Always be prepared to adjust, adapt, and improvise in order to overcome challenges along the way.
  11. Treat All People With Respect. By showing respect to other people, you will be making the world a better place in which to live.
  12. Live Well and Live Honorably. Try to live each day as if it were the only day you were going to be judged on when your life is over.
Dignity consists not in possessing honors, but in the consciousness that we deserve them.Aristotle
Be honorable yourself if you wish to associate with honorable people.Welsh Proverb

How is Personal Honor Defined?

How do you define a person’s honor? How do you evaluate respect and morals? How do we determine if someone is behaving in a fair and balanced manner with personal integrity? Having good morals and excelling in ethical behavior is what determines a person’s reputation.

By having our integrity tested, we determine our own personal honor. What if there was more to be gained financially in your present situation by using false statements or intimidation? Would you consider lying and stealing to better your budget? If a small internal voice encourages you to stay on the path of righteousness, you will conquer temptation and begin to understand your own true self. A law-abiding citizen would be an example of good behavior. Volunteering for several organizations and giving your very best to help others would be another example.

The ultimate sacrifice in this life is to put your own self in front of harm to protect others. When you face the most frightening situation, and still do your best to help others first, you know in your heart what you are made of. You can have respect for yourself. You know that you have personal honor. Often our society gives us guidelines for good behavior.

In a work environment, you want to impress your boss and rise in your career. To deliberately step on the toes of others to acquire success would cause others around you to lose their respect for you. Missing an opportunity to praise a fellow co-worker, because you don’t want to given them a help up the corporate ladder, is not the way to gain friends and influence people. You win the respect of others by being fair. You show all your co-workers the same respect and dignity you would want in return. Therefore, you put your ambition second and your personal honor first.

Holding the door for the person behind you, or taking the time to assist an elderly person across the street are actions that speak louder than any words. These activities show your respect for others. Being a strong supporting friend for someone facing bad news, or lending your co-worker lunch money . . . show you give others your time and resources. Doing without a new motorcycle or boat so that your family can pay the bills on time is a sign that a good father cares more for his wife and children than himself.

Content thyself to be obscurely good. When vice prevails, and impious men bear sway, the post of honor is a private station.Joseph Addison

The Honorable Lou Gehrig

Lou Gehrig was a great baseball player well loved by many fans. Nicknamed the “Iron Horse,” he was a strong and talented athlete. Then he was struck by a slowly debilitating form of spinal paralysis. Some would have reacted with bitterness, some with despair. When Lou Gehrig realized where his life was headed, and stood to give a farewell address to fans at Yankee Stadium, he taught America about grace and honor under adversity. After listing the blessings of his life—his parents, his wife, his teammates, and many good games—he said “I may have been given a bad break, but I have an awful lot to live for. With all this, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.” Two years later, and shortly before he died, he called a friend to share news about a recent breakthrough doctors had made in treating what came to be known an “Lou Gehrig’s disease.” He explained that nine of ten patients given a particular medicine had improved. His friend immediately asked if Mr. Gehrig was one of the nine. Mr. Gehrig replied “Well, it didn’t work on me. But how about that for an average?—nine out of ten! Isn’t that great?” Indeed. And so was his example of honor.

The difference between a moral man and a man of honor is that the latter regrets a discreditable act, even when it has worked and he has not been caught.HL Mencken

Choosing the right even when you are tempted to have fun doing something less noble.

Two boys were walking along a road through a field, when they came upon an old coat and a badly worn pair of shoes. Off in the distance a farmer was working his field. The younger boy thought it would be fun to hide the coat and shoes, and then wait in the bushes to see the farmer’s expression upon finding his things missing. The older boy thought about that, but then told his friend that the farmer must be awfully poor to have clothing so worn. Instead he suggested that he would put a silver dollar in a shoe, then they could hide and watch the expression on the farmer’s face. Silver dollars were worth a lot to a boy in those days, but the boys agreed that this was a good idea so they each did it. By and by the farmer came out of the field and put his foot in one shoe. He pulled his foot back out, reached into the shoe, and withdrew the coin with considerable surprise. The farmer looked around and couldn’t see anyone, so proceeded to put on the shoe again, and then to try the other one. Finding the second silver dollar, the farmer knelt on the ground and prayed aloud to the Lord, rejoicing because he would now be able to help his wife, who was sick, and his children, who had no bread. That lesson was worth far more to the boys than $2.00.

Abraham Lincoln

One day when young Abraham Lincoln was working as a store clerk, he closed the store at the end of the day and tallied the day’s earnings and made a discovery. He had charged one customer six cents too much. Six cents is not a great deal of money, but it was money that rightfully belonged to the customer. So after work Abe Lincoln walked the three miles to her home, returned the money, and then walked back in the moonlight. That night he could look at himself in the mirror and be confident he saw an honorable man.

Those who educate children well are more to be honored than parents, for these only gave life, those the art of living well.Aristotle
The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be.Socrates
To save a Life in defeat, is to receive Victory and Honor.Unknown


The Lakota tribe was known as some of the greatest warriors of all time. They were feared in battle. Every young man was raised to be a warrior for the tribe. Within the tribe of warriors was a small group of men called the Red Shirt Warriors. The color red in Lakota culture stood for honor. They were the best of the best, a prestigious club that every young warrior wanted to strive to be a part of. Every four years, the Red Shirt Warriors extended an invitation to a select few of the young warriors to test themselves in order to be admitted to the group. The physical tests were difficult and not all those invited were able to pass. The first tests were ones that allowed the young warriors to demonstrate the skills of battle – marksmanship, horsemanship etc. But the last test to earn membership to the elite group was a difficult test of endurance. The test had a time limit of four days and was done during the hottest part of the year. Each young warrior was sent out by themselves, without food or water and only a knife for protection and told to follow a well-known path to a high shale cliff. They were instructed to climb the high cliff and recover a red sash that had been tied to a stone at the top of the mountain. Their goal was to recover the sash from the top of the cliff and return to camp with it within the four day time period. Little did they know that the tribal elders had actually placed two red sashes on the mountain. One rolled up tied red sash that when unfurled was about 6 feet long had been placed at the top of the mountain on the high cliff (which is the one they were instructed to return with), and one rolled up tied red sash that when unfurled was only about 3 feet long which had been placed at the bottom of the mountain just off the side of the trail and easily gotten. Because of the difficulty and distance, the young warriors would usually get back by sunset of the fourth day, exhausted, thirsty and hungry. Upon arriving back to the tribe and before they were given any food or water, they were escorted into the lodge of the Red Shirt Warriors and asked to present the sash they had recovered. According to their stories, no one being tested ever returned without a red sash. The sash was to be held tightly in their hands. The young man was asked to hold one end of the sash at head height and let it unfurl toward the ground. If it extended all the way to the ground, the man had gained membership and was considered a Red Shirt Warrior. If it did not reach the ground, he was denied membership, and never allowed another opportunity to join the elite group. No explanation was given to the ones denied and no explanation was ever needed, because it wasn’t just a test of endurance, but more importantly, a test of honor.

Humility in Victory and Honor in DefeatUnknown
No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.Calvin Coolidge
It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not to deserve them.Mark Twain
No amount of ability is of the slightest avail without honor.Andrew Carnegie
We treat our people like royalty. If you honor and serve the people who work for you, they will honor and serve you.Mary Kay Ash
We find greatest joy, not in getting, but in expressing what we are. Men do not really live for honors or for pay; their gladness is not the taking and holding, but in doing, the striving, the building, the living. It is a higher joy to teach than to be taught. It is good to get justice, but better to do it; fun to have things but more to make them. The happy man is he who lives the life of love, not for the honors it may bring, but for the life itself.R.J.Baughan


Once there was a little old man. His eyes blinked and his hands trembled; when he ate he clattered the silverware distressingly, missed his mouth with the spoon as often as not, and dribbled a bit of his food on the tablecloth. Now he lived with his married son, having nowhere else to live, and his son’s wife didn’t like the arrangement. “I can’t have this,” she said. “It interferes with my right to happiness.” So she and her husband took the old man gently but firmly by the arm and led him to the corner of the kitchen. There they set him on a stool and gave him his food in an earthenware bowl. From then on he always ate in the corner, blinking at the table with wistful eyes. One day his hands trembled rather more than usual, and the earthenware bowl fell and broke. “If you are a pig,” said the daughter-in-law, “you must eat out of a trough.” So they made him a little wooden trough and he got his meals in that. These people had a four-year-old son of whom they were very fond. One evening the young man noticed his boy playing intently with some bits of wood and asked what he was doing. “I’m making a trough,” he said, smiling up for approval, “to feed you and Mamma out of when I get big.” The man and his wife looked at each other for a while and didn’t say anything. Then they cried a little. They then went to the corner and took the old man by the arm and led him back to the table. They sat him in a comfortable chair and gave him his food on a plate, and from then on nobody ever scolded when he clattered or spilled or broke things.

Live Honorably and Make Your Life a Masterpiece

To live honorably means to do all you can to make your life—every day and every moment of it—a perfect masterpiece of excellence and virtue. Make your life a masterpiece; sign your name to everything you do. To strive to make your life a masterpiece in every way… this is what it means to live honorably. ”Make your life a masterpiece.”John Wooden

Duty, Honor, Country

Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying points: to build courage when courage seems to fail; to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith; to create hope when hope becomes forlorn. Unhappily, I possess neither that eloquence of diction, that poetry of imagination, nor that brilliance of metaphor to tell you all what they mean…. You are the leaven which binds together the entire fabric of our national system of defense. From your ranks come the great captains who hold the nation’s destiny in their hands the moment the war tocsin sounds. The Long Gray Line has never failed us. Were you to do so, a million ghosts in olive drab, in brown khaki, in blue and gray, would rise from their white crosses thundering those magic words – Duty – Honor – Country. This does not mean that you are war mongers. On the contrary, the soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war. But always in our ears ring the ominous words of Plato, that wisest of philosophers: ‘Only the dead have seen the end of war.’ The shadows are lengthening for me. The twilight is here. My days of old have vanished tone and tint; they have gone glimmering through the dreams of things that were. Their memory is one of wondrous beauty, watered by tears, and coaxed and caressed by the smiles of yesterday. I listen vainly for the witching melody of faint bugles blowing reveille, of far drums beating the long roll. In my dreams I hear again the crash of guns, the rattle of musketry, the strange, mournful mutter of the battlefield. But in the evening of my memory always I come back to West Point. Always there echoes and re-echoes Duty – Honor – Country. Today marks my final roll call with you, but I want you to know when I cross the river my last conscious thoughts will be of The Corps, and The Corps, and The Corps.General Douglas MacArthur
From our ancestors come our names from our virtues our honor.Anonymous


My son, hear the instruction of your father, And forsake not the teaching of your mother; They shall be a crown of beauty for your head, and a necklace about your neck. Listen to your father who begat you, and despise not your mother when she is old. He who does what he is told is a wise son. But he who makes friends of spendthrifts, brings disgrace on his father. He who robs father or mother, saying, “There is no wrong in it,” is like him who is a destroyer. He who curses his father or mother, his lamp shall go out in the blackest of darkness. A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son despises his mother. A foolish son is a grief to his father, and brings bitterness to her who bore him. Be wise, my son, and make glad my heart, that I may answer the one who reproaches me. Let your father be filled with joy, and let her who bore you rejoice.

Here are 10 suggestions for ways to honor your parents:

  1. Forgive their transgressions. When people commit a transgression, they essentially owe you a debt. In most cases, it’s a debt they cannot pay. Forgiveness means that you choose to wipe away the debt they owe. Many people carry around the baggage of feeling that their parents owe them a debt for some wrong doing. Forgive your parents.
  2. Extend mercy. Do you consider yourself to be a good person? If you said yes, then let me ask you a few of questions: Have you ever told a lie? Have you ever stolen something, even something seemingly insignificant? Have you ever lusted? The next time your parent says a hurtful word or offends you in some way, remember what it feels like when others have mercy on you. Instead of seething with anger, look at your parent with compassion, putting aside any bitterness that tries to form in your heart.
  3. Share Virtue with your parents. If you had the cure for cancer, wouldn’t you share it? Virtuous people have the cure for a disease far more dangerous than cancer, the kind that destroys the soul. And the answer is Virtue. Have you shared virtue with your vicious parents? Your parents may never have another chance to hear about the salvation of living a virtuous life. Make it a priority to honor them by telling them about the cure they need.
  4. Appreciate the good things. Everyone on this earth has redeeming qualities. Try to think of as many as you can for your mother or father. What positive physical attributes did this parent pass to you? What about personality traits? Instead of dwelling on bad memories or scars, consider how life has used this parent to make you the person you are today.
  5. Do something as an act of kindness. Send flowers for no special reason, or call the parent on the phone just to catch up. Use a special skill that you have to meet a need, such as, paint the bathroom, fix the car, or mow the lawn.
  6. Choose to speak kindly of them. Our words are powerful. Words have the ability to bring death or life. Choose to use words about your parent that will bring life. Lots of people could go on for hours about the ways they ruined their life, but instead why not choose to stop blaming them and honor them, whether they deserve it or not.
  7. Consider writing a tribute to your parents. A tribute is essentially an essay written to honor a parent. If you don’t have many good things to say, then make it short. The message doesn’t have to be very long, but it can be a powerful time of honor and connection.
  8. Teach your children to honor and extend mercy to their grandparents. Just as you should honor your parents, your children should honor their grandparents. Instruct them to speak kindly of your parents, learn from their mistakes, and extend mercy. Remember that your children will one day be raising your grandchildren and exposing your mistakes. Teach them the same mercy that you would want extended to you.
  9. Pray for the parent who mistreated you. How long has it been since you and your children prayed together for your father or mother? Make it a priority this week to pray that their hearts will be softened and for the healing and restoration in your relationship.
  10. Keep your parents connected with your family. When relationships are strained, it’s easy to become isolated. Unfortunately, isolation prevents healing and often creates even more awkwardness. Don’t leave your parents out of your life, even if they are antagonistic toward you. Continue to send cards and pictures. Allow them to talk to the children on the phone, or if they are unfit to speak to children, keep communicating in other ways.
My country owes me nothing. It gave me, as it gives every boy and girl, a chance. It gave me schooling, independence of action, opportunity for service and honor. In no other land could a boy from a country village, without inheritance or influential friends, look forward with unbounded hope.Herbert Hoover
Character is power; it makes friends, draws patronage and support and opens the way to wealth, honor and happiness.John Howe
He who lives without discipline dies without honor.Icelandic Proverb
A hundred years cannot repair a moment’s loss of honor.Anonymous
Honor is the reward of virtue.Marcus Cicero

Honor Defined

By James Bowan

At its simplest, honor is the good opinion of the people who matter to us, and who matter because we regard them as a society of equals who have the power to judge our behavior. This is what Professor Derek Brewer has called the honor group. Obviously, this definition includes an important variable term, since the people who matter are different for every individual. Honor groups form naturally around any corporate enterprise but especially those — like the armed services, police forces, fire brigades and sports teams — that are male-dominated. In such an environment, loyalty to the corporate entity, and a willingness to subordinate one’s individual inclinations to the greater good, will naturally be regarded as honorable; disloyalty and selfishness will be correspondingly dishonorable. Families are natural honor groups as well, the first with which we are all associated and one which may overlap with others that we join later in life. By their nature, these group loyalties will sometimes conflict with loyalties to a wider community and to absolute principles, which is why it is useful to distinguish between honor and ethics. It is sometimes necessary to put loyalty to principle ahead of loyalty to the group, but even the highest principled whistleblower or informer is likely to find himself regarded as a “rat” and a traitor by the conflicting standards of honor.

Two developments of 19th century in Europe and America have contributed to the obscuring of this essentially local quality of honor. One was the rise of the modern nation state. Patriotism in its modern sense depended on an idea of the whole nation as a single honor group. The second development was the modernization of traditional honor and its removal from the exclusive province of an aristocratic élite. This development began in the 18th century and attempted to fuse honor and ethics. The Victorian idea of the “Christian Gentleman” — a man of honor yet one who owed allegiance to a universal and ethical and not just a local and honorable standard — was a new thing in the world of honor, but too delicate a hybrid, as it now seems, long to outlast its times. Almost the only relics of him now remaining are the “honor systems” or “honor codes” you still find on some university campuses which, for all their other successes, have never been quite successful in persuading young people that it is honorable to inform on their fellow-students who have committed infractions. The nation-as-honor-group was a hardier growth, but it, too, came under a great deal of pressure in the aftermath of the First World War, when honor resumed some of its previous disreputability although in a different way. Previously, the law and the church had looked askance at such honor-related phenomena as dueling. But in the 1920s and 1930s honor itself, even in the form of patriotism, fell into a very considerable disrepute.

To some extent it is also true that the deeds and qualities that earn the good opinions of each honor group will vary with its composition. Honor among thieves will differ substantively from honor among policemen. Yet if honor, unlike morality, is by its very nature relative to a particular social context, it does not seem to be the case that it varies randomly from group to group. Some groups at some times may value some qualities more than others, but at its most basic that to which we pay honor — or, to use the synonym in more common use today, respect — is remarkably consistent. Moreover, in spite of the discrediting honor has undergone, the basic honor of the savage — bravery for men, chastity for women — is still recognizable beneath the surfaces of the popular culture which has done so much to efface it. If you doubt it try calling a man a wimp or a woman a slut. These are still fighting words, though less likely to accrue mortal consequences than in the days when they or their equivalents would have required men to shoot at each other. Nor do they work the other way round — any more than they did in the 18th century when Bernard Mandeville observed that the sense of honor is “very whimsical, and the Difference in the Signification so prodigious, according as the Attribute was either applied to a Man, or to a Woman, that neither shall forfeit their Honour, tho’ each should be guilty, and openly boast of what be the other’s greatest Shame,” since “Gallantry with Women, is no Discredit to the Men, any more than Want of Courage is a Reproach to the Ladies” People may have learned to pay less honor to the miles gloriosis and more to the gentle non-combatant, less to the virgin and more to the sexual adventuress, but as yet they haven’t quite forgotten the honor and shame of their great-grandparents. Even the women of “Sex and the City” worry themselves over the question: “Are we sluts?”

The honor of the savage, the urge to strike back, what I shall call reflexive honor, which is familiar to all of us, even if we have no words in which to express it and even if we are ashamed of it. So far as we can tell it is nearly inseparable from the human condition, and it is certainly engaged wherever there is fighting, which is nearly everywhere. But it must be distinguished from cultural honor — like that of the Victorian gentleman, for example — which comprises the traditions, stories and habits of thought of a particular society about (among other things) the proper and improper uses of violence. In fact, it is because of the decline of cultural honor in the West that the word “violence” itself has come into currency with a new and generic sense. Originally it referred only to criminal violence, as its relation to “violate” reminds us. But its modern sense makes it difficult if not impossible for us any longer to express the distinction, so central to cultural honor, between good and bad, right and wrong, just and unjust fighting.

Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself.Lois McMaster Bujold
Guard your honor. Let your reputation fall where it will. And outlive the bastards.Lois McMaster Bujold
I have learned not to worry about love; but to honor its coming with all my heart.Alice Walker
Your passion must come from the things that fuel you from the inside. Honors and awards are nice things, but only to the extent that they regard the real respect from your peers.Randy Pausch
Voices that loud are always meant to bully. Do not be bullied. Acts of bravery don’t always take place on battlefields. They can take place in your heart, when you have the courage to honor your character, your intellect, your inclinations, and, yes your soul by listening to its clean, clear voice of direction instead of following the muddied messages of a timid world.Anna Quindlen
If thou desire to purchase honor with thy wealth, consider first how that wealth became thine; if thy labor got it, let thy wisdom keep it; if oppression found it, let repentance restore it; if thy parent left it, let thy virtues deserve it; so shall thy honor be safer, better and cheaper.Francis Quarles


Honor is a concept that seems to be native to most people. But what is it? We could define honor as being that which a person has when he is worth respect. It is not having pride, but rather having respect and that respect being worth having.

The western world has often been said to be composed of materialist intentions and ambitions, and spiritual values are of little importance. In the east, honor is far more important. In fact, in Japan there is criminal law that forbids someone bringing about the loss of social honor to another person. Honor is very important there, as is politeness and manners, which are somehow intertwined.

Honor is defined as esteem paid to worth and is associated with reverence, dignity, distinction, reputation, good name and a good sense of what is right, just, and true. The key part to honor is having respect for others and for yourself, the two must act together because with out both you have nothing. I strongly believe that reputation is hard to gain and easily lost. A speaker once said, “Every day thousands of planes fly somewhere and there is never any news or headlines about a successful landing, however when one crashes it is all over the news.” This fact reminds me of honor in that you must maintain honor because one infraction will result in the forfeiture of ones honor and in a sense will be headlines, and if not to others definitely oneself.

“Honor is like a rugged island without a shore, once you have left it, you cannot return.” Honor is something in which is not obtained and sustained easily. One must have patience and study to become a person of integrity and goodwill. Honor is an everyday thing; obstacles trying to deter one from being honorable lay in life’s everyday path. Perseverance is a key to honor; one must fight the constant impeding objects in order to maintain the highest level of honor. An island is often looked at as something isolated and secluded yet has a certain mystique about it. Honor is much like an island in this sense.

A test of all will power living with honor will not always be the most popular route and possibly could cause short- term alienation. Honor must come from inside and be unable to be swayed by minor factors. The shore is a place, which represents compromise. Honor has no room for compromising in no way is it a partial way of life, it cannot be turned off and on when desired. People often see honor as something malleable yet it is not one cannot pretend to be honorable in certain environments and not in others. An absolute way of life, honor is like a pass or fail course, there is no in between. The shore is a place of change, for instance if one stays on the shore he/she will drown at high tide, the shore is not an option. The last part of the quote from Satires is the most important of all the aspects. Honor does not have three strikes and you’re out or nine lives policy, everybody is given one chance and if that person chooses to invalidate their honor it is lost. Honor does not have a series of choices. I see honor much in the way of a quote by well known American author Gore Vidal, “One is sorry one could not have taken both branches of the road. But we were not allotted multiple selves.”

I firmly believe in living with the highest level of honor, which in a way is the only degree of honor. In the present day many people have relaxed their standards thinking that lying once or twice will not matter because no one will find out. This common mentality is what is hurting society; people have lost the strong belief of self-respect, which is a major part in honor. Honor should always be in one’s conscience and should be reflected through their actions. It is a distinct characteristic in a person that separates that person from a group. Honor must be the center of what one’s moral revolves around and is the capstone of a person.

Dignity consists not in possessing honors, but in the consciousness that we deserve them.Aristotle
Be honorable yourself if you wish to associate with honorable people.Welsh Proverb
Don’t look for more honor than your learning merits.Jewish Proverb

If Honor were Profitable, Everybody would be Honorable

By Thomas More

I like this quote, for both what it says, and what it does not say. It states that were honorable deeds held as quite valuable, everyone would be honorable and acting as if they were of great value, or had great quantities of the attribute called honor.

What it doesn’t say is that honor, even in the early days of the Renaissance, was falling out of favor. It was no longer considered very valuable. Honor had been supplanted in the hearts, and souls (unfortunately), of many of the people of his era.

The implication is that honor was not pursued with the same energy and vigor as was profit. It also implies that those who pursue profit are often less than honorable people. Unfortunately, both of these are as true today as they were back then, if not more so.

Why is being honorable important?

Honor, the root word of honorable is defined at theFreeDictionary.com as “Good name; reputation.” but most importantly as “Principled uprightness of character; personal integrity.”

Being honorable means having a good name or reputation. But how does one get a good name, the other definition gives us some ideas. Are you principled and upright in your character? Do you display integrity? These are but a few of the aspects of acting in an honorable fashion, which will be slightly different depending on your culture.

Think about it this way. If you had to chose between two people, one of which had a noticeably more honorable than the other, with which one would you rather do business? So, does that help you understand why being honorable is important?

Even today, the most dishonorable members of the business community have to move on quickly, to keep ahead of their reputation as a dishonorable person. In the American West, the Traveling Medicine Show was the archetype of this kind of ‘business man.’ I doubt that’s how you want to be known.

Where can I apply this in my life?

Let me start by saying I don’t think money or even profit is immoral, or that we should all aspire to be poor. But the point of the quote is that we shouldn’t put profit ahead of honor, nor should we do dishonorable things just for the profit we could attain by so doing.

But what does being honorable get you, and is it worth it if being honorable will cost you money? That’s a question we all must ask ourselves. However, if you take it to it’s logical conclusion, and no one is honorable in the slightest, profit will be impossible. No one could trust anyone else, and much of civilization would break down.

So we have to keep a certain minimum amount of honor, just to keep the profit flowing. But at what point do you give up on honor and go for the profit? I would recommend erring on the side of honor as often as you can manage. It might be hard to do, but I believe it’s worth it.

As I noted before, your reputation with respect to how honorable you are, will likely be known to others. Those who are prudent with their money will seek out the more honorable people and conduct their business with them. That means more opportunities for sales, and therefore more profit.

The term ‘make a quick buck’ is associated with dishonorable transactions, and is the kind of thing the quote is all about. There are plenty of people who put in an honest day’s work, and aren’t looking to be dishonorable in profit or any other aspect of their lives.

Again, which would you like to be known as, an honorable person, or a money grubbing dishonorable person? When it’s put that way, I imagine the question is fairly easy to answer. Yes, the answer will be subjective. We will all draw the line at different places for different portions of our lives, and even at different times.

That doesn’t mean that money is to be avoided, or that it is evil, but one must be wary of the temptations profit might present. If you can be strong in the little things, you can also be strong in the big things. You may just need a little practice, and some motivation.

It might be difficult to do, but it will always profit your character if you do the honorable thing.

We live in a time of transition, an uneasy era which is likely to endure for the rest of this century. During the period we may be tempted to abandon some of the time-honored principles and commitments which have been proven during the difficult times of past generations. We must never yield to this temptation. Our American values are not luxuries, but necessities – not the salt in our bread, but the bread itself.Jimmy Carter
The difference between a moral man and a man of honor is that the latter regrets a discreditable act, even when it has worked and he has not been caught.H. L. Mencken
An honor is not diminished for being shared.Lois McMaster Bujold

Being an Honorable Person

What is it that makes a person honorable? An honorable person is one who is deserving of respect. And who deserves respect? Most of us, have acted in dishonorable ways. Dishonorable acts include lying, cheating, stealing, betraying, manipulating. It’s easy to be negative. What does it take to be a truly honorable person, worthy of the respect of others:

  1. Speaking the truth even when it is unpopular, while avoiding needless unkind words;
  2. Being loyal even when it is tempting to be disloyal;
  3. Having empathy, especially with one’s opponents and people with whom one has little in common;
  4. Giving with no expectation of receiving anything in return except the joy of giving:
  5. Standing up for what one believes in even when it is unpopular to do so;
  6. Truly being able to forgive others for just about anything.

When someone needlessly hurts someone else or strives for personal power or personal wealth above all else, it is always a reflection of some underlying conflict in that person. Unfortunately, people who are hurt by others oftentimes go out and hurt even more people. It is possible to fiercely promote what one believes in or to defend one’s person and principles without annihilating the opponent. The fiercest advocate can be the gentlest person. It is not easy to be honorable, but honorable people do not expect perfection. They are ready to forgive transgressions. Living honorably is the key to being peaceful and content.

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.George Bernard Shaw
Pay no attention to what the critics say… Remember, a statue has never been set up in honor of a critic!Jean Sibelius
The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.Ralph Waldo Emerson
It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not to deserve them.Mark Twain

Live with Honor

To live with honor means to strive to do your best in all aspects of your life. It means living with courage, integrity, purpose, and dignity. Above all, to live with honor means pursue excellence in all that you do, and ultimately, to make the most of your life and time in this world.

Honor is about always doing the right thing, always saying the right thing, and always standing for the right thing; it is about always doing the right things, the right ways, and for the right reasons.

Live Honorably & Maximize Your Life

To make the most of your life, to make the most of your opportunities in this life, and to make the most of your impact in this world… this is what it means to live honorably. Maximize your life … Do all the good you can, and do it all the very best that you can do it. Always give your all, and always do your best. If you strive to do these things with all your heart and soul, then you will make the most of your talents, opportunities, and influence in this world. As a result, you ultimately will end up maximizing your life.

There are certain characteristics that we all possess—undeniable traits that each of us is born with and that no one can ever take away from us. Chiefly among these inherent traits is HONOR. Your honor is who you are as a person; it’s what you stand for, it’s how you treat other people, and it’s the way that you ultimately live your life.

No one, and no situation, can ever force you to compromise with what you think is right. You are the architect of your life, and you are the author of your own legacy—you, and you alone. No one can ever take away your honor, unless you allow them to.

You can be deprived of your money, your job and your home by someone else, but remember that no one can ever take away your honor.William Lyon Phelps
Life every man holds dear; but the dear man holds honor far more precious dear than life itself.William Shakespeare

Honoring our Humanity in Others

Failure to honor our humanity in others is a root cause for a lot of the pain and suffering that takes place in today’s society. Rather than look for the reflection of our own humanity in others, we often seek to de-humanize and de-individuate others so that it is easier to hurt them. Psychologically, it is necessary to categorize others as sub-human in order to legitimize bullying, meanness, and even violence. Instead of looking for commonalities, we look for differences that can separate others from our own humanity and turn them into objects rather than humans.

Dehumanization is a psychological process whereby we view each other as less than human and thus not deserving of moral consideration. Dehumanization can be as innocuous as calling someone a “nerd”, to horrendous examples like the Jews in the eyes of Nazis and Tutsis in the eyes of Hutus (in the Rwandan genocide). Every dehumanizing and dishonoring conflict strains relationships and makes it difficult for parties to recognize that they are part of a shared humanity. They don’t see their humanity in others because in their own minds, they have made their opponents sub-human. Such conditions often lead to feelings of intense hatred and alienation. In severe cases, dehumanization makes the violation of generally accepted norms of behavior regarding one’s fellow man seem reasonable, or even necessary.

De-individuation is another common way that we fail to honor our humanity in others. This is the psychological process whereby a person is seen as a member of a category or group rather than as an individual. We do this when we say “oh he’s a goth”, or a hick, or a geek, or a jock”. Because people who are de-individuated seem less than fully human, they are viewed as less protected by social norms against aggression than those who are individuated. It then becomes easier to rationalize name calling, viciousness, prejudice, or even violence towards them.

Let’s turn this around. Let’s honor and celebrate the reflections of our own humanity that we see in others. Let’s look for our commonalities rather than our differences. In a world that desperately needs changing, and our humanity in the balance, let’s set an example and show others how to honor our humanity.