Exploring Human Potential

7 & 7: Honorable vs. Dishonorable


Honor is to have the courage of one’s own convictions, to at the end of the day, at the end of each day, be able to live with yourself. Each individual must decide for herself where to draw the line, the decision of what is right, the decision of what is wrong. To go against one’s own convictions is to shirk from one’s duty to self, to family, to community, to society. The seriousness of honor and dishonor is that it plays out on many levels. It is a moral duty which when disappointed affects personal happiness, disaffecting at the source. The choice of what to honor is more critical than the honoring itself. For it is quite natural for humans to willingly sacrifice their very lives in the name of honor. Yet this willingness does not automatically assure that the life was worth the taking. For humans have a unique ability to deceive themselves. A badge of honor may prove in retrospect a brand of dishonor. It is the choice then, the choice that counts, a choice of worth, a choice for all time, a choice well worth the fiery path of self-sacrifice. Receiving honors does not always equate with being honorable. The true honor is in being able to depart this world a friend to yourself.


Each man must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, which course is patriotic and which isn’t. You cannot shirk this and be a man. To decide against your conviction is to be an unqualified and inexcusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let men label you as they may.
Mark Twain 

Human happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.
George Washington 

They were never defeated, they were only killed.
Said of the French Foreign Legion 

A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.
Oscar Wilde 

The fiery trials through which we pass will light us down in honor or dishonor to the latest generation.
Abraham Lincoln

It is better to deserve honours and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.
Mark Twain 

I desire to conduct the affairs of this administration that if at the end…I have lost every other friend on earth, I shall at least have one friend left, and that friend shall be down inside of me.
Abraham Lincoln 

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