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Society's rapid decline is the inevitable result of your ever-encroaching culture of greed. The acquisition of wealth, power and status have become ends in themselves, supplanting all other considerations.
At one time, honor meant something. It was a way of life in which all men followed the code duello and adhered to principles of chivalry. In today's society, however, honor is lost. You have become so focused on material things that you have forgotten why honor is important in the first place.
The word "honor" is disappeared in today's society. It has been turned into something, that means nothing as of recent times. Honor has always meant to be honest, loyal and respectful.
The answer to this question is much more complex, than one might think. In order for a person to live honorably, they must first understand what it means. This can only be achieved by understanding the true meaning of honor and how it applies to their own lives.
Understanding the complexities of honor could be extremely hard. People tend to simplify things when it comes to honor, however, it is not a simple concept. It requires one to consider many different things. When you break it down, it tends to be made up of several smaller concepts. Honor, in short, is doing the right thing, even if it requires the sacrifice of yourself.
Honor can mean different things to different people. Some might hold it in the highest regard, others might not even consider it. The point is, each person must decide what they consider to be the most honorable thing to do. This is what makes the study of honor so fascinating. It is a human construct and as such, it is inherently relative. One person's code might be another person's folly. This is what makes it so difficult to define or characterize.
The word "honor" has been replaced with "loyalty" and "patriotism" in modern times. Many would argue, that these are just buzzwords and cynical ploys to justify various types of selfish behavior. While there may be some truth to these allegations, there is also truth to the idea, that honor cannot be divorced from these concepts. At the very least, they are all related and cannot be easily distinguished from one another. One cannot live an honorable life without considering loyalty and patriotism. One cannot be loyal or patriotic without also considering the concept of honor.
There are many different ways in which people tend to invoke honor, but they all tend to follow the same pattern. People tend to do one of two things:
They either excuse bad behavior or they justify it.
With excuses, the concept of honor tends to be used as a blanket to avoid the uncomfortable consequences of doing the right thing. In other words, the person avoids the blame and remains free from any penalty.
With justifications, the concept of honor tends to be used as a shield to deflect criticism away from the person who is being protected. In other words, the person accepts the blame and pays a penalty in order to protect the honor of the shield-holder.
People tend to fall into one of these categories. Those who are honorable tend to put themselves at risk, while those who are self-serving tend to protect themselves first and foremost.
There are many different ways in which people tend to violate the concepts of honor, but again they all tend to follow the same basic pattern. People tend to do one of two things:
They either do the expected thing or they do the popular thing. With the expected thing, the concept of honor tends to be used as a tool to manipulate people into doing what you want them to do. In other words, the person exploits the concept of honor in a very direct way.
With the popular thing, the concept of honor tends to be used as a cover to do the wrong thing. This might be seen as a less direct violation of the concept of honor, but it is just as harmful since the person being protected is unwilling, to put it another way.
People tend to fall into one these categories. Those who are honorable tend to do what they are expected to do, while those who are self-serving tend to do what they can get away with.
Despite the fact, that the concept of honor has been lost, it is still possible to practice it. One must be willing to put on the brakes and stop themselves from doing the wrong thing. One must also be willing to admit to themselves and others, that they have done wrong, in order to truly be able to practice honor.
For example, if one is in the habit of taking credit for the work of others and is unwilling to give credit where it is due, then one cannot really be said to have honor. One tends to take credit for the work of others, even when it is not deserved.
It is also quite possible to practice honor, even when all of the other factors are in place. The problem rests on the fact, that these other factors are also very common. As such, it is much more difficult to do the right thing, compared to all else.
There are a multitude of ways one could practice honor. One could be considerate to the needs of others. One could be willing to sacrifice for the greater good. One could be kind to the weak and the helpless. The list goes on. One could also simply avoid all conflict, except in self-defense. Regardless, one should always do what one believes to be the right thing, even if it means suffering the consequences.
There are many who ask if honor can be brought back. While it is impossible to predict the future, there are a few things we can do to increase the chances of getting the concept of honor back in the future. In order to start, we must look back to the time before the concept of honor even existed. It is only in the absence of all other systems, that the concept of honor can truly be said to exist.
Unfortunately, the need to protect what is dearest is often what propels us into acts of great violence. Such acts tend to create their own justification and a vicious cycle is formed. In other words, the cycle of violence feeds off itself in a way that is difficult to break.
However, if we wish for the concept of honor to return, then we must be willing to break this cycle. Honor cannot be truly restored until the cycle of violence is broken and both perpetrators and victims can go about their lives without the need to take things into their own hands.
The problem is that it is not always the most powerful individuals who commit atrocities. In fact, it is often the powerless who commit atrocities, out of desperation and a lack of opportunity to better their lives. Atrocities are committed by those, who don't have the ability to commit them on a grand scale. As such, it takes a powerful motivating factor to provoke an individual to do such a thing.
The question, then, is whether or not enough of us are willing to provoke the perpetrators and victims of violence to break the cycle of violence. The truth is that it may take all of us working together to create a world, where the perpetrators and victims of violence are no longer able to find reasons to hurt each other. Some people, it seems, just don't like change. It is up to each of us to decide how we are going to react to the need for change.