In this day and age when every psycho-babbling television psychologist, social worker, government agent, teacher of children and clergy are quick to list any number of attributes necessary to be a "good productive member of society", such as appreciation of diversity, multi-culturalism, and the relativism of all social and ideological structures and practices being equal, despite the consequences of any such structure, they never mention the three most important.
By Charles H. Sawders ("Straightarrow")
From: The War on Guns
Friday, August 22, 2008
They are in descending order of importance Courage, Honor, Love. That's right, love is in there at a lowly third place. There are reasons for this particular ranking.
Courage is by far the most important asset a man can have if he is to be a good man. Both physical and moral courage. Moral courage being the more important of the two. It is moral courage that enables one to make decisions about right and wrong. Moral courage also enables the person who has it to stand against popular opinion when he believes it wrong or evil. He thus is able to speak out against it and to work to change the wrong or evil, even at the minor expense of popularity, or vilification or ostracism. The possessor of moral courage may even find himself the focus of intimidation by government. In many cases he must face physical attack if his opponents on the issue are extreme, knowing that if his stance is unpopular enough he will have no supporters in law enforcement. That is why he must also have physical courage.
Physical courage does not let him proceed without fear. It lets him proceed despite it. Most men would fear physical attack and/or incarceration. But the man with both physical and moral courage will not be deterred, even though he may not be desirous of the likely consequences.
Without courage, one can have no honor. Honor is made up of many different things. Keeping one's word, regardless of the circumstances is honorable. Protecting the weak, the family, the nation, and the principles of free men is honorable. Honor requires that one does not trespass another. It also requires that one does not submit to trespass by another. Without courage these are impossible ideals to keep. Honor makes it possible to love truly.
Without honor love cannot be born, let alone survive. Love requires that the party who loves has the honor to keep his commitments. Known honor of a person is the only measure of his trustworthiness. Honor demands that one not deviate from his stated principles, even when those principles are costly or result in unpleasantness. There are many ways to fake honor, and many people do. However, they invariably give themselves away when a test is applied and the cost of honoring one's commitment is heavy. The dishonorable will discover a reason that "this is different". The honorable will realize that the principle he claims to hold is still valid and it is not different just because it is to his detriment to uphold it.
Love is third on the list. Not just romantic love, but love of all kinds. Love for your fellow man or woman. That is a very hard task oftentimes. Some can love their fellow man as individuals while not being overly proud of the species. Others can love their fellow man as a species, but have no real affection for them as individuals. Either way works to the benefit of himself and his fellow man and society at large if he has courage and honor.
Romantic love is by far the most fragile. Therefore it is also the most dependent on the honor of the parties involved.
Love of country is to some an abstract idea that is not close to their souls. To others love of country is an almost physical thing in the reality of their lives. Courage and honor, though, make it possible for both to satisfy their obligations as good men.
There are those who love only themselves. They are lost. They are lost to society, to those they claim to care about and even to themselves. They just don't know it. A great many of these types become what we usually regard as highly successful by traditional measures. While they may have courage, they have no honor, for these are the types who routinely trespass others. Whether they be boardroom presidents or back alley muggers. There are few of them relatively speaking, but the damage they do far outweighs the weight of their numbers.
In summary love is not possible without honor, honor is not possible without courage. Decency is not possible without all three.
What decent man could contemplate their absence in his character?