If ever there was a time to stress honor in conduct, that time is now. From the macrocosm of the political to the microcosm of the family, the absence of honor leaves a chasm of ruptured relationships.
To possess honor presumes a knowledge of right and wrong, good and evil. In Western civilization Christianity formed the basis of such knowledge. Christian precepts set the standard by which conduct is measured.
Today, we find ourselves in a quandary. In a relativistic culture with diminished Christian influence, much of the traditional understanding of right and wrong is also diminished. In literature, film, TV, courts of law, and even personal relationships, old standards are muddled at best. Words associated with the old standards, words like “honor,” relinquish some degree of relevance.
General Douglas MacArthur’s farewell address to the Corps of Cadets at West Point focused on honor. He reminded the Corps of the high standard they shared with those who passed on before. Honor was central to the code: Duty--HONOR--Country. How long must we wait before once again hearing a public figure so eloquently express a deep understanding of honor?
Life offers choices for everyone. To live honorably is a choice to salvage character. As always, the decision is ours.