With over 14 different definitions in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary; honor, a tiny, two syllable word carries a lot of weight. According to Webster’s, the word itself means “good name or public esteem” and is a Middle English word, dating it to the 13th century. It is derived from the Old French that in turn comes from the Latin “honos” or “Honor. ” Another definition refers to “reputation” or “recognition” and means “a showing of usually merited respect, as in “pay Honor to our founder. ” Synonyms include not only honesty and probity, but integrity as well as homage and reverence.
Also, sometimes you will see it spelled with a “u” as honour in the British spelling. An honor student means a student who excels in school and marked high grades. Previously honor figured largely as a guiding principle of society, functioning as part of a “code of honor” for a gentleman and often coming to expression in the practice of dueling. One’s honor, that of one’s wife, of one’s (blood-)family or of one’s beloved formed an all-important issue: the typical “man of honor” remained ever alert for any insult, actual or suspected: for either would deny his honor.
The concept of honor appears to have declined in importance in the modern secular Western World. Popular stereotypes would have it surviving more definitively in alleged “hot-blooded” Mediterranean cultures; Italian, Arab, Iberian. Or even in more “gentlemanly” societies like the “Old South” of Dixie. Feudal or other agricultural societies, focused upon land use and land ownership, may tend to honor “honor” more than do industrial societies. Traces of the importance attached to honor linger in the military such as officers conducting a “court of honor,” and also in organizations with military echoes, such as The Boys and Girl Scouts.
The Medal of Honor, established by joint resolution of Congress on July 12, 1862 is awarded in the name of Congress to a person who, while a member of the military, distinguishes himself conspicuously by bravery and guts at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against any enemy of The United States; while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which The United States is not a hostile party.
The deed performed must have been one of personal bravery or self-sacrifice so conspicuous as to clearly peg the individual above his comrades and must have involved risk of life. The President, in the name of Congress, has awarded more than 3,400 Medals of Honor to our nation’s bravest Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen since the decoration’s creation in 1861.
According to the Congress website, although it was created for the Civil War, Congress made the Medal of Honor a permanent decoration in 1863. ,520 Medals were awarded during the Civil War, 1,195 to the Army, 308 to the Navy, 17 to the Marines. 25 Medals were awarded posthumously. “Any nation that does not honor its heroes will not long endure. “- President Abraham Lincoln. “Honor” in the case of females historically related frequently to sexuality: preservation of “honor” equated primarily to maintenance of virginity, or at least to preservation of exclusive monogamy.
One could speculate that feminism may have changed some linguistic usage in this respect. One can contrast cultures of honor with cultures of law. From the viewpoint of anthropology, cultures of honor typically appear among nomadic peoples and herdsmen who carry their most valuable property with them and risk having it stolen, without having recourse to law enforcement or government.
In this situation, inspiring fear forms a better strategy than promoting friendship; and cultivating a reputation for swift and disproportionate revenge increases the safety of your person and property. Thinkers ranging from Montesquieu, a French political thinker who lived during the Enlightenment and is famous for his articulation of the theory of separation of powers, to Steven Pinker, one of the most prominent cognitive scientists today, have remarked upon the mindset needed for a culture of honor.
Cultures of honor therefore appear amongst Bedouins, Scottish and English herdsmen of the Border country, and many similar peoples, who have little allegiance to a national government; among cowboys, frontiersmen, and ranchers of the old American West, where official lawenforcement often remained out of reach, as famously celebrated in Western Movies; among the plantation culture of the American South, and among aristocrats, who enjoy hereditary privileges that put them beyond the reach of general laws.
Cultures of honor also flourish in criminal underworlds and gangs, whose members carry large amounts of cash and contraband and cannot complain to the law if it is stolen. Once a culture of honor exists, it is difficult for its members to make the transition to a culture of law; this requires that people become willing to back down and refuse to immediately retaliate, and from the viewpoint of the culture of honor this appears as a weak and unwise act.
Conceptions of honor vary widely between cultures; in some cultures, honor killings of (usually female) members of one’s own family are considered justified if they have “defiled the family’s honor” by marrying against one’s wishes, or even by being the victims of rape. These honor killings are generally seen in the West as a way of men using the culture of honor to control female sexuality. In contemporary international relations, the concept of “credibility” resembles that of honor: when the credibility of a state or of an alliance appears at stake, honor-bound politicians may call for rastic measures, however, how often this happens with politicians or lawyers is not known.
Honor is a relatively small word. However, it has very many different meanings. Different for different people and for different countries. Living with honor is choosing to honor others and live by righteous principles. Honor may be considered an old-fahioned principle; but it summarizes the ideals of living a good life with honesty, integrity, and respect. Honor is described in many different ways, and can mean several different things to different people.
Honor can mean respect and esteem shown to another, it may also apply to the recognition of one’s right to great respect or to any expression of such recognition in some instances it implies profound respect mingled with love, devotion. There is a priceless respect that everyone in the world possesses, and that is the respect of a person’s honor. A person’s honor is something that cannot be bought, sold, or traded it’s something that must be gained by the respect of your peers. An example of how honor is seen in everyday life in through a person’s word.
The standard dictionary definition of honor first lists public regard and esteem under the word, with ethical conduct or high standards of justice and responsibility appearing much further down the list. This is reflected in the way the modern world treats the issue of honor. In ancient times, honor was the manner of being that we now describe as having integrity. In plain language, an honorable person avoids deception whenever possible, treats others with respect and sticks to her beliefs no matter how others think or act.
People generally do not seem to behave very well toward each other anymore. Honor determines the hierarchy of an individual while revealing his loyalty and true intentions. Reward comes for those at the top whose honor does not diminish, while a false or fleeting honor of a lesser mortal causes destruction. Exploring and discussing how to act honorably toward each other is a place to start. The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be. How can you be a person of integrity?