Thursday, March 4, 2010

What is Honor?

by Jeanne Adams

So just what is "Honor"?

I've been giving this familiar concept a lot of brain-computing space recently. Why, you ask? A a dear friend wrote me a long, heartfelt note and spent a great deal of the missive complimenting my late father. Among other things, she had an intense focus on remembering him as being a man of honor.

I know what she meant by it - he was a man of his word, he followed through on things, he was courteous and courtly and gentlemanly. He didn't let people down. He was Honorable.

I began to wonder how I could instill that in my own sons, now that their grandfather is gone. Then I realized my husband is a man of honor as well. He doesn't tolerate injustice. He is gentle, yet strong, among other things, and he is a man of his word.

So, does that mean you have to be the proverbial knight in shining armor to be a man of honor? My husband is wonderful - perfect for me - but he's human. Not a sword or horse in sight.

Hmmm. There was a conundrum. I puzzled over that one because I know men who are honorable, but to put it bluntly, they ain't angels, if'n you know what I mean!

Many of the heroes we read in books today aren't perfect. They aren't Sir Percival, nor are they even Lancelot, heralded as the most honorable in his time. (Pre-Gwen, obviously!) However, these 21st century heroes are frequently men of great personal honor. Sometimes, their honor requires them to lie, cheat, and steal to return something, or someone to its rightful place. Does that make them less honorable, or more so that they're willing to do what it takes to right a wrong?

Hmmm. More pondering.

Then I did one of those kinda dumb things. I GoodSearched the word Honor.

Oh, my.

People name their horses, dogs, ferrets, cars, golfcarts, trucks and even planes Honor. There are Honor Societies, there are Maids of Honor, there's the movie Made of Honor - Yum! Patrick Dempsey! - there's video games called Medal of Honor.

There's more anime art regarding honor than you can page through in a year. On the anime, I'm guessing this is following the intense focus on honor in the martial arts and the ryu traditions of cultures thorughout the East.

The anime stuff brought me right back to that nebulous concept though.
Honor the fallen. Keep your honor at all costs. Honor your father and mother - wow, there's a potent use of the term.

So how is it that we show it in our flawed, human, and ever so interesting heroes? How do we define it within ourselves?

Keeping faith with those we love was one way that sprang to mind. As romance writers, no matter the genre, we write about relationships. There is nothing more damaging to a relationship than breaking faith with your lover, partner, wife, husband, etc. It's dishonorable. In general, we see this as a point of honor - to keep the faith. We have it in most marriage vows - To love, honor and cherish.

Then there's that other usage, to honor tradition. We break the glass, we raise the flag, we lower the flag, we bow our heads, we cover our heads, we uncover our heads, we raise our glasses, we wear black, we paint our hands, we take off our shoes....the traditions are endless, but it satisfies some need in us to remember.

To honor.

To keep a touchstone with our families, our roots, our friends, our experiences both good and bad.

Honor. It's a weird word. It's a difficult, and yet somehow very simple concept.

Honor.

What does it mean to you?

What's the most honorable action you've ever "seen" in a hero in a book?

Ever bear witness to a truly honorable action in person? (Large or small!)


Other than general or specific holidays, what's a tradition you like to honor? (And if you want, tell us why)


Any suggestions on how you teach honor other than by example and the Golden Rule? Grins.

59 comments:

jo robertson said...

Wow, Jeanne, great post. And very thought provoking.

I guess to a person of honor you first have to have some kind of standard by which you measure that honor.

However, I love stories where the hero or heroine has to act contrary to his values in order to achieve a more important goal.

jo robertson said...

My goodness, I won the rooster again. Hmmm, I think I'll ask him what his Zodiac sign is since we had much discussion about that today. Whatever it is, it's definitely sassy!

Helen said...

Well done Jo have fun with him

Jeanne I agree with Jo very thought provoking post. For me honour is, be honest and yes if you say you will do something you do it think about other people at all times remembering that you are not the only person.

I guess one of the most honourable things from a hero in a book keeping your heroine from danger, changing his ideas and habits for his heroine ?
Honourable everyday things for me is the simple act I guess of a younger person giving an older or disabled person a seat on the train or bus
We honour our Christmas and Easter holidays
How to teach someone to be honourable for me lead by example.

Have Fun
Helen

Anna Sugden said...

Interesting post, Jeanne! I too am married to an honourable man and a real gentleman. Like your hubby he is gentle, but strong, has a clearly defined set of values, is honest and loyal. The same values he got from his parents.

And, like your hubby, he isn't perfect! *g*

I think, for me, what stands out about him is that it's part of who he is - he doesn't have to think about it. It's not an act to impress or a duty - that's what you do, is what he often says.

Like Helen, I think there is an honesty required. And, as Jo said, a set of values. An integrity too.

The best heroes and heroines have flaws. They're not perfect people.

What's interesting to me about the best and most chilling villains is that they too have a sense of honour and values and honesty - but, it's warped in some way. Is that why they are often viewed from the outside as honourable people?

I think leading by example and exlaining why we do the things we do and why it's right, is the best way to teach honour. But, I also think children have to learn for themselves and make mistakes - to learn from their mistakes. To learn that there are consequences to being dishonourable. And, that they have to take responsibility for it (and I'm going to finish there before I get onto my hot button!)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Jo! The lucky clucky rooster's off to the left coast with you today! :> Make Dr. Big put him to work. Better yet YOU put him to work! Snork.

I'm thinking the GR was born in ths year of the rooster...or is that too obvious? Heehee.

Ahem. to the topic. Yes, I think you've hit on it, Jo. Standards - even if they are internal and different from the norm - is the place where honor stands.

Like you, though, I love stories where values and honor and necessity come into conflict

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Helen! What a lovely response. I think you're dead on in that honour comes from caring about other's thoughts and feelings and habits, as well as giving respect to those in need, from a bus seat to protection.

So, example's still the best on teaching it, to your mind? I think you're right.

Gillian Layne said...

If men understood a huge reason why women read romance is because the heroes are honorable, and how much that trait means to us...

Coincidence--or not--I just watched Last of the Mohicans with my husband this weekend (yeah, I can't believe I've never seen it before, either) and the huge conversation we had afterward was about the honorable acts of the men. It takes your breath away. Especially Uncas, who remained so silent in his regard...oh good golly. Anyway, a beautiful example of honor.

Really beautiful post, Jeanne.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Anna! Having met your hubby, I would agree. Grins. He's got the point too, in that it just is something you DO and ARE rather than something you conciously have to think about doing. Well put.

Kids do have to make mistakes and learn. Tony Robbins has a famous quote that "Good judgement comes from experience, and experience often comes from bad judgement."

I think the same could be said of leaning about being honorable. :>

I love what you said about villains. Someimtes, to me, the villains are more interesting for just that reason...

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Gillian! You are so RIGHT! Men would be practicing honor in secret - honorable looks, honorable acts, honorable thoughts - all the time if they knew what a chick magnet it is. Grins.

Oooooh, I LOVE LOTMohicans!!! My brother was an extra in that movie. It was filmed in western NC - but you knew that, of course! ;> Talk about honor! You are making me swoon, thinking about that movie....sigh.

What was your hubby's take on the acts of honorable men?

Joan said...

Wow, Jeanne....very thought provoking.

Honor has so many components, many of them already cited but also honor is a reflection of the contribution somebody has made to their family, their friends, the world.

I honor my parents who...human as they were...instilled gifts and attributes and life lessons in me that makes me a better albeit HUMAN person.

I honor my brother who has mentored a young man who is as his son and who now fills that with the boy's own young son.

I honor my friends who have met obstacles this past year and floored me with their strength.

Yup, that's honor

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Joanie! Glad to be thought provoking. Grins. Or at least provoking, anyway. Bwah-ha-ha!

This is one of those posts that come to you in a serious moment. Reading it this morning, I'm thinking, wow, I need coffee before I read that again...

Grins.

Back to that serious note, tho', I so appreciate your words about honor, and who you honor. And I bow in your general direction for the honor you've show those self-same friends you mentioned. You are a friend, indeed. :>

Christie Kelley said...

Great post, Jeanne. Having two boys too, I struggle with the same thing. I do believe it's teaching them honesty and being responsible not just to themselves but to others. If they make a commitment, they had better stand by that. And as others have stated, it's leading by example.

Now, on to fictional heroes. All heroes have flaws or they're not realistic. But I do think honorable actions can vary. In some books, it's the hero walking away because he honestly believes he is wrong for the heroine (of course he can't be but she'll have to make him see that). Other times, it's saving her or someone she loves. There are just so many examples of honorable deeds that heroes do in fiction.

Gillian Layne said...

Jeanne,

He was an extra?? Oh my gosh. I wonder, did he realize how powerful the movie would be when he was a part of it?

Hubby and I waited til the very end to see where it was filmed--he thought it reminded him very much of the White mountains in Vermont/New Hampshire.

DH prefers honorable men/characters. He tells me a historical character can get away with acting honorably without being accused of displaying chauvinistic tendencies. He says most men have a pretty primal, basic instinct to protect and shield the women they love, and their family in general. (Yes, we have fun conversations at our house.) The power of the main character's honor, not just Hawkeye but his Indian brother and father, reminded him of Rob Roy, which he thought was an excellent movie as well.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Christie! Y'know, I wonder if it's just boy-mommies that worry about this? Ladies, those of you who have girls, do you think about the honor thing? It may manifest differently for women, I don't know.

I love your summation of fictional heroes. Dead on. I particularly love the bit about it being key that the heroine can bring the hero to realize that he IS right, and it IS honorable to with her. Grins. Love those stories.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Gillian asked: He was an extra?? Oh my gosh. I wonder, did he realize how powerful the movie would be when he was a part of it?


I don't think he did, Gillian. I'll ask him that. I remember him saying that it was just chaos, with people everywhere (battle scenes in the woods) and lots of bull-horn-shouted directions. Grins.

Wow, you DO have some cool discussions at your house. I think your hubby is right too, don't you? Most men do have that primal, protective instinct.

jo robertson said...

Ha, ha, Jeanne, the left coast as opposed to the "right" coast? I think not, my pretty!

Dr. Big took the rooster golfing with him today. He golfs on Thursdays with a group of men he calls the "old guys," which I find highly ironic. They all go to Taco Bell afterward because they give free drinks to senior citizens.

Note: my tongue is stuffed inside my cheek so hard it's a round ball on my face.

Oh, the point? These guys are all in their 80's, the youngest about 83, I think, and they still golf twice a week. Boyd has a 5 handicap (studly athlete that he is) so I think it's sweet that he "wastes" two days a week playing 9 holes (true golfers NEVER play just 9 holes) with these elderly gentlemen because they enjoy his company so much.

Yeah, I was thinking of honorable.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Jo said: Yeah, I was thinking of honorable.

Yeah, I'm thinking so too, Jo. I do love that Dr. Big of yours...in a purely admiring, platonic kind of way, of course. I'm honorable, after all! Ha! (And poachin' ain't honorable!)

That's lovely that he does that. And hey, the old "a good walk spoiled" never applies to avid golfers who will putt and chip in their front or back yards if they don't have time to play 18. A good walk with friends over 9 tees, and taco bell with free drinks? I'd take it. Grins.

Snork on the "right coast." My little dog and I are snorking...

jo robertson said...

Gillian said, "most men have a pretty primal, basic instinct to protect and shield the women they love, and their family in general."

I totally agree with your husband, Gillian. That primal need to protect is what probably helped our caveman ancestors survive and insured the propagation of the species. I think that's why women are drawn to heroes who want to take care of them. Even if they don't "need" it!

I'm a pretty independent woman, physically and emotionally, but I do get a little thrill out of knowing my 6'3", 230 pound husband could stomp the daylights out of someone. Not that he would, of course. He's too honorable.

jo robertson said...

Wow, an extra, Jeanne? How fun, I'm so jealous!

Dr. Big's a sweetie, that's for sure, Jeanne. Since he's old enough to be your daddy, have at it! I am not a jealous woman.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Jo said: I'm a pretty independent woman, physically and emotionally, but I do get a little thrill out of knowing my 6'3", 230 pound husband could stomp the daylights out of someone. Not that he would, of course. He's too honorable.

Exactly! I think this is what the rabid feminist movement missed. It's not that we CAN'T do it ourselves - we're pretty good at that stomping thing, as a rule - but that it's lovely that someone would WANT to do it for us. Or could do it on behalf of our children or aging parent if we weren't there to do it.

Yeah. Honorable. :>

Julia Smith said...

Really love this post today, Jeanne.

My favorite honorable character is Maximus from Gladiator. His motto is Strength and Honor, after all. No matter what is done to him, he honors Rome by continuing to serve her, even when he is made a slave. The biggest characteristic that makes men respect him is his delivery on promises made. He only says what he can deliver, and then he delivers.

So I think that personal integrity walks hand-in-hand with honor. Also, a sense of doing a thing because it is the right thing to do makes a person honorable. Not because it makes you look good, not because it impresses the chicks, not because you're afraid of repercussions if you don't - only because it's the right thing to do.

Karyn Gerrard AKA~Drew said...

Dang, I was going to pick Gladiator!

I will go with dear old dad, to me, he is the most honorable of men. Something I feel is lacking in the younger generations of men today, that sense of honor, steadfastness, strength.
If you can find a man with honor, grab him, but quick!

Karyn Gerrard AKA~Drew said...

I forgot to say, great, great post Jeanne, great thought and emotion!

Donna MacMeans said...

Great post, Jeanne -

I've been sitting here churning over your comment about boy-mammas. I have to admit that I worry more about my son doing the right thing than my daughter. Actually, my son is turning out to be a very honorable young man - but I had my doubts for a while there. He's not perfect and has made some big mistakes (that's the hard part for a mom), but I think how he's taken responsibility for his actions and handled the consequences helped shape him into a honorable man - that and the love of a woman (and I don't mean his mom in this regard - grin).

Girls...girls are different. I don't worry so much about this with my daughter. Not sure why.

Loved everything about Last of the Mohicians - including the scenery. Cool that your brother was an extra. Was he a settler, an indian or a British soldier? Did his part make the final cut? Next time I see the movie I'll be watching for someone who looks like you.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Julia! You said: Also, a sense of doing a thing because it is the right thing to do makes a person honorable. Not because it makes you look good, not because it impresses the chicks, not because you're afraid of repercussions if you don't - only because it's the right thing to do.

And there you have it. Well said. :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Drew! Yeah on choosing your Dad. Obviously, I do too, along with my DH. Grins. And yes, oh, yes, if you find a man of honor in this modern world, take care of him. :>

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

GREAT post Jeanne!

And YAY on getting the GR, Jo! But I'm not surprised he'd pick our only sunny day to show up here in NorCal! :-P

Donna, I really identified with what you said about wanting our sons to be honorable. I do think my son, for all his faults, is honorable. He has his own code of honor, but it is not as far from the norm as he would like to let on. I think he got that way mainly because his father, for all his faults, is basically an honorable man too.

Maybe genetics is partly at work here? I dunno, but I definitely agree with Jeanne about finding an honorable man and hanging onto him.

AC
(who wouldn't touch any other kind)

Anna Campbell said...

Jeanne, what a wonderful post. I really enjoyed reading it. I really am sorry I never got to meet your dad - he sounds like an exceptional human being. Actually my dad was a man of honor too - I think it's wonderful when we have these examples so close to home. Definitely a man of his word and he'd stand up for a principle no matter what it cost him. I'm not saying he was perfect either, but it was always interesting seeing him meeting new people. I can't think of anyone who didn't automatically look up to him. There was something about the respect he paid to them as people, whoever they were, and therefore he received respect back. A wonderful lesson to learn. I think honor is actually a really strong theme in my books. How to hold onto it in an impossible situation (Captive of Sin and Untouched for example). Finding the essential honor in your heart when every impulse is to do the wrong thing - or even when you have done the wrong thing! Claiming the Courtesan and My Reckless Surrender. Trying to find an honorable solution when it seems impossible to satisfy the complicated requirements of doing the right thing - Tempt the Devil. Yeah, this post definitely got me thinking.

Anna Campbell said...

Gillian, I can't believe you haven't seen THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS before! Isn't it fabulous? I actually think that movie is in many ways an examination of honor and where does your loyalty lie. With your country? With your comrades? With the woman you love? And when all those principles are pulling in different directions, what do you do?

餐廳 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Donna! See, you said exactly what I felt about boys vs. girls in this matter. Somehow, as moms, we seem to feel that our girls will get it and our boys may need those "life experiences" for it to sink in. Grins.

As to LOTM, my brother's bit as a settler was cut, but he said it was a totally cool experience!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

AC said : I definitely agree with Jeanne about finding an honorable man and hanging onto him.
AC (who wouldn't touch any other kind)


Heehee. Yep. They just feeeeeel better, don't they? Snork.

But seriously...I found it interesting that you said that your son has his own kind of honor, that it's not far off the norm...etc. I think that we see this in heroes in fiction too. We find unusual heroes that we might not initially see as honorable, but then we discover they ARE, just not quite the way we originally conisdered...

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey AC! Don't you have a new cover? Did I see that on Facebook???

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Anna C said: There was something about the respect he paid to them as people, whoever they were, and therefore he received respect back. A wonderful lesson to learn. I think honor is actually a really strong theme in my books.

I couldn't agree more, Anna! Respecting others just breeds that sense of honoring, doesn't it?

And as to honor being a theme in your books...ummm...ya think? Snork. I'd say it's MAJOR in every book you've written and, especially in CTC and Untouched, you explore that theme of honor lost and found, and honor tarnished and redeemed. Of course, anything in the era in which you write has somewhat to do with honor, but you really explore the theme in wonderful ways. Thoughtful ways. (THank you for that....)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Anna said: I actually think that movie is in many ways an examination of honor.

SO true!! And that conflict of honor makes for one HECK of a great story...Untouched, anyone? Grins.

Gannon Carr said...

Great topic, Jeanne! I think my husband is a man of honor. It may be partly due to serving in the military for 21 years, but I think the bulk of the credit goes to my in-laws for having raised a responsible, respectful man. We are doing our best to raise our 2 sons and daughter in the same way. It's not always easy, but oh so important. So far, I think we're doing pretty well.

Last Of The Mohicans is one of my favorite movies, hands down! It was filmed not far from me. Gorgeous scenery (yes, that includes Daniel Day Lewis *g*) and a wonderful story!

And speaking of honor always reminds me of the line from Rob Roy:
"Honor is the gift a man gives himself."

Love that movie, too!

Cassondra said...

Hey Jeanne!

Wow, what a good question. My dad was so very human--his imperfectons could fill a book. But he was a man of honor. When he had a responsibility, he met it. Whether that responsibility demanded time, attention, money, or (potentially) his life. And I don't know that this can be taught, necessarily. I think maybe it has to be modeled, and that's a real problem in a day where kids often don't have that modeling. Honor and integrity go hand in hand to me, and I've wondered before if it's impossible to have one without the other. They are similar in concept, and yet different.

The habit of acting with honor (or honorably) involves a well-developed sense of right and wrong. A moral code, I think. And I have puzzled about how this could be taught. And I have come up with a lack of answers. If it's not modeled, I'm not certain you can teach it. I think this is one reason a lot of people who've never been church-goers start to attend when they have kids. There is some instinct that tells folks that they need to instill in their kids this deeply abstract concept, and they don't know how, so they go back to doing things the way their parents did--which included church and the moral code it teaches.

I don't know if that's good or not. But wow, you've touched on something really hard here. Men of honor--I know them when I see them, but I don't know if I could define it.

I think, nowadays, that an awful lot of people DON'T know it when they see it, necessarily. This makes me sad, and brings me back to the premise that they never saw it modeled. Was never taught that it mattered.

Cassondra said...

I think, too, that honor must be preceded by the idea that there are some things which matter.

Honor evolves from a belief system, I think, which does not necessarily have "I" at the center of the universe.

None of the heroes I read and love have "I" at the center of their universe. Even if they appear to at the beginning of the book, they have shifted by the end.

Or I never read that author again.

And it's interesting that the pit of despair they're drug through has to be deep enough that I actually believe it could remove the "I" from the center of that universea nd replace it with "she" or "they" or "others" or "all of us" or something.

Wow, this is hard to talk about in a way that's clear.

Cassondra said...

OH!

Whoever mentioned Last of the Mohicans, YES YES YES! This is always the film I mention when I say "favorite hero" or Best First Kiss"--and I think maybe this is exactly why. It was a story about men and women of honor, and how they behaved when the chips were down.

Beth said...

Wow! What a great post, Jeanne!

I think both my husband and son are men of honor *g* They both have very strong ideas of right and wrong and if they're the ones who are in the wrong, they take responsibility for their actions
:-)

p226 said...

The definition of honor has been bantered about throughout history. And in every culture it is different. However, when I attempt to define it, I find it a somewhat nebulous concept. It's one of those things where you know it when you see it. Or alternately, you know it when you do it. Or when you don't. An adherence to principle backed by action. And things become particularly honorable when there is an adherence to principle in the face of great personal risk or loss.

One might argue that the Japanese, as odd as their culture is to me, have demonstrated the ultimate in honor via the Kamikaze. Sacrificing their very lives for something greater than themselves was a certainty. However, some cultures might find such a waste of precious life as not honorable, but despicable. And if one believes that the Kamikaze sacrificed themselves honorably, there's a modern parallel that will cause some pretty uncomfortable thoughts on the subject.

In a less severe assessment of the term, honor can be tied to ones word. It can mean keeping your word, your oath, your vow even when it is clearly not advantageous or practical to do so. Honorable men take their oaths seriously, in my opinion, whether that oath is an employment contract, a marriage vow, or an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Perhaps every generation has said this. But, I often feel like the very concept of honor and sacrifice for something other than ourselves is rapidly disappearing in my country and the world.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Gannon! Yes, LOTM was filmed at Pisgah, so very near you. Sigh...gorgeous. :>

Being in the military will instill the honor thing even in men and women who've never been exposed to the concept at home. I love that, don't you?

And Rob ROy. Sigh, again. Liam Neeson. Yep. Gooood.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Cassondra! I somehow knew, from what you've said of your Daddy before, that he would be someone to see as a man of honor.

You also said: But wow, you've touched on something really hard here. Men of honor--I know them when I see them, but I don't know if I could define it.

That, I think, is the connundrum upon which I hit, and what prompted this more-serious-than-usual post from me. :> How do you define it, and there's that Know It WHen I see it thing... Yes.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Again, you've hit upon part of my puzzlement, Cassondra. There has to be a belief system. Doesn't necessarily have to be MY belief system, but there has to be a foundation there. Hmmmm. And yet, as you mention, some come to it through the course of a story.

You said: None of the heroes I read and love have "I" at the center of their universe. Even if they appear to at the beginning of the book, they have shifted by the end.

Exactly! Bravo!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Beth! You've hit on it too...it's that taking personal responsibility thing.

So many are so ready to blame others, or life, or circumstance. The honorable person (now I sound mystical, don't I?) perhaps often asks first, where could I have behaved differently to have achieved a different outcome? Or even if I did it all "right" here, how can I now help right the situation?

Anna Campbell said...

Snort, Jeanne, ya found me out, ya canny lassie! ;-) I'm really enjoying this discussion - honor is such a complex subject, isn't it? P226, you raised such a complex issue. Is the honor of those men compromised if I personally don't find their cause honorable? I still think you can make a case out for their bravery and their devotion to duty and the fact that they stood unwaveringly by their word.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

P226 said: when I attempt to define it, I find it a somewhat nebulous concept. It's one of those things where you know it when you see it. Or alternately, you know it when you do it. Or when you don't. An adherence to principle backed by action. And things become particularly honorable when there is an adherence to principle in the face of great personal risk or loss.


Yes!! Precisely. As with others today, you've seen the same dilemma of putting a good definition on this wonderful concept. You've also hit on some of the connundrums too - where is it honor and where is it sheer folly?

Like you, I wonder about the paucity of this concept in modern times, but I get glimmers of hope.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Jeanne said: "Hey AC! Don't you have a new cover? Did I see that on Facebook???"

Yes, I do! It's on the sidebar right next to Smoov's "Money Honey" and the books are scheduled to be released the same day: July 6, 2010. The Lair will REAL ROCK that day! ;-)

AC

Cassondra said...

JO, I forgot to say congrats on the rooster!

Cassondra said...

Jeanne, I meant to ask--what is that guy's name--the second pic down? I read some stuff about him not too long ago, and he seemed a great role model from what I read. I can't remember his name though.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Woohoo, AC! Gawgeous COVER!!!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

His name is Shemar Moore, he's a favorite of mine and of Suz Welsh's too. Grins. He's on Criminal Minds.

Verrrrrry attractive! :>

Caren Crane said...

Jo, you lucky Rooster nabber!

Great post, Jeanne! And thank you for adding Shemar's picture. He played an incredibly honorable character in Tyler Perry's Diary Of a Mad Black Woman. If you haven't seen it, you should!

Honor is certainly a Deep Topic. To me, an important part of honor is keeping your promises. If I say I'm going to do a thing, I do it, by gum. Even if it's hard, inconvenient or awkward.

Nothing drives me crazier than people committing to things, then backing out or not showing up because they got a better offer. I could never act that way, because I stick to my word.

I guess I was taught that you don't leave your friends/group/team/whoever in the lurch. Ever.

I think you teach your kids by example. I certainly have tried to set an example of this for mine. I also do not let them beg off things they have committed to doing. Unless they're barfing or something needs to be sewn back on, they can suck it up and do it. Even if they have to stay up late to finish their homework they procrastinated on. Hm.

Nancy said...

Jeanne, this is a fabulous post! Unfortunately, I'm brain-fried at the moment, with absolutely nothing coming to mind book-wise. However, I was talking to my class today about To Kill A Mockingbird, and I think Atticus Finch is a man of honor. He agreed to defend Tom Robinson and so put on an actual, vigorous defense instead of the "going through the motions" routine the town expected. He fulfilled the ethical demands of his profession and his duty to his client rather than bowing to the social expectations of his community.

In short, he did what was morally right. Maybe that's the essence of honor?

Jo, have fun with the rooster!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Caren!!! Grins. You said: I also do not let them beg off things they have committed to doing. Unless they're barfing or something needs to be sewn back on, they can suck it up and do it. Even if they have to stay up late to finish their homework they procrastinated on. Hm.

Snork. Yep. House on fire? ER visit? Yes, those are honorable excuses. You don't feeeeeel like it? Hmmm. I don' think so! Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Nancy!

You said: In short, he did what was morally right. Maybe that's the essence of honor?

Exactly.

And may I add, *girlish sigh* Atticus Finch! *Batting eyelashes*

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Thanks for coming out to chat with me today everyone. :> As always, it was enlightening and thought provoking!

Grins.

Like I said to Joanie, I'm always up for a good provoking...

Snork!

Kim in Hawaii said...

Jeanne, thank you for a thought provoking blog. Tomorrow is “Furlough Friday” in Hawaii – schools are closed for 17 Fridays to make up the budget shortfall. Parents have marched on the state capital. They even sponsored a “bake sale” in the Rotunda to draw attention to the situation (organizers distributed cookies and donated collected funds to charity).

When parents’ protests did not make an impact, teachers stepped in. Teachers from some schools collectively agreed to give up planning days to reinstate classroom time because they believe in Hawaii’s “keiki” (children). Because they have honor to do the right thing. Unfortunately, the governor, Legislature, DoE, and union continue to bicker as the children suffer.

So I salute those teachers who tried to make a difference. No doubt they make a difference in the classrooms.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Kim! I think every state is suffering with this, this year. Wow on the bake sales.

Thanks for stopping in!