The River's Badge

Friday, October 21, 2011

Honor


I wonder about honor sometimes.

What happened to it?

Is it now considered passe?

Is it just a word that we throw around when we want to compliment someone? "Well, he's quite honorable, isn't he?"

Honor can mean a lot of things. In simple terms, honor = the truth.

And truth is difficult.

You see, the truth has a lot of perilous cliffs to avoid. "Will being honest get me in trouble? And if so, no thanks! I've got enough difficulties in my life, without creating any new ones!"

I wonder, when the chips are down, how many of us are actually honorable. I wonder if I would be. I hope so.

Being raised as a Catholic, as fallen as I am, I still retain what they call "Catholic guilt", but I don't know if it's guilt, really. Maybe so. Maybe I think, I can't get right with God if I'm dishonest. Maybe God will be ashamed of me. I'm sure he would be, actually.

I struggle with honor.

It could be something as simple as a workplace issue; in which someone is annoying the hell out of me (sorry, God!), and yet, I don't say anything, because I want to be "nice".

Wouldn't it be better if I just laid it on the line? Well, that's the question, isn't it? Everybody wants to be liked. So, nobody creates any waves, because, I guess, it's better to suffer in silence than to be perceived as a bitch (sorry again, God!). What we are all striving for, in this world of fluff, is to be popular; or at least not "unpopular".

But, when push comes to shove, would I stand up for someone, even though it might make me look like a loser? Even if I had to reveal myself to be less than perfect?

I hope I would.

But to be perfectly honest (here, at least), I know I would stand up for my friends, but would I stand up for someone I truly don't even like? That's the test, isn't it?

You can't just pick and choose your moments. Unless you're a complete mercenary. Which, unfortunately, the citizens of the world have become.

Which leads me to the topic of lying.

Bald-faced lying.

It galls me. Doesn't it gall you?

I don't watch much TV, but I do watch the national news. I won't say which channel I watch, because that just becomes a hotbed for negative comments, but let me just say that I watch the channel that actually TELLS THE TRUTH; both sides.

And I do have a side. Doesn't everybody?

Lately, though, I've been kind of ashamed of my side. Yes, I feel that my side offers cogent points. But they've kind of taken it to the extreme. Believe it or not, most of us aren't morons. As partisan as we are, most of us recognize truth (i.e.; honor).

So, please just stop it.

Make your (valid) points and be done with it. You don't have to muddy the waters by criticizing every little thing that the helplessly incompetent President does. We can see that for ourselves. And occasionally (if you squint hard enough), he does do something right.

But closer to home, you know, things are tough.

Sometimes, I think the news is just a distraction. Something to divert my attention from the huge pile of "refuse" (let's say) that's happening in my life right now.

For example, the unemployment appeal that my husband just suffered through. The one in which his former boss lied and created wild tales, all in an effort to avoid paying the really negligible premiums that every company has to pay for unemployment insurance; so really, what is the point of lying? "Honor"? Well, honor does not really apply in this circumstance, does it?

It all goes back to that fear of being perceived as "uncool"; "unpopular". Because if we admit that we screwed up; that we handled things really poorly, then all hell will descend upon us.

It's really better to just let it lie. And by "lie", I don't mean to actually lie. I mean, let it go.

But, here we sit. With one income. The same thing that a whole bunch of people are dealing with right now.

We might eventually lose our home. Who knows?

All because someone couldn't bring themselves to do the "honorable" thing.

I was listening to Bill Bennett's show the other morning, and I heard a bumper (is that what they call them?) of this song, and it made me feel all calm, somehow. So familiar; so soothing.

You know, Merle Haggard did stuff that a lot of people at the time thought, "What the hell is that? And does he realize that he's totally sabotaging his career??"

But he still did it.

Just one more reason why I love Merle Haggard.



Somehow, somewhere, there are still honorable people in this world. For example, Merle Haggard.

2 comments:

Marla said...

Ok. Are you reading my mind? I could have written your blog today because I feel the same way. I "honor" your honesty and I agree that too many people out there today have little honor - or respect for others.
Perhaps it's because so many are trying to make themselves look good in this "dog eat dog" world. But, thank you. Oh, except one thing: I disagree on your party preference & beliefs about our President. But, I still HONOR your opinion. ( :

Michelle Anderson said...

Thank you, Marla. I'm glad at least someone shares my views regarding honor. I'm beginning to wonder these days. And it's cool that we can agree to disagree politically. I honor your opinion as well.