Honor

“Respect is what you give to others. Honor is what you give to yourself” – Being Caballero

 

Respect is for others, but it is also for yourself. Honor is respecting yourself; showing yourself respect by living your values. Honor is also how we respect those who gave us what we have – life. We respect the ancestors by living with honor.

Honor can be very subjective and can be defined in so many ways. Not everyone will see honor in my way, nor will I see honor is the same way as others. Honor is an internally regulated code of behavior. We are judged by the accepted code the culture or society that we live in. Reputation is how those around us measure their opinion of our honor. We have little control of our reputation; we can only control how we live. If we live with honor our reputation should take care of itself.

That said, if my reputation is not something I am proud of I need to step back and re-access my behavior. Do I live my honor code? Are my values inline with societal values? Are societal values worthy of my adopting? If the societal values I am being judged by are not worthy of my adopting, then I need to understand this and live my truth. I do not need to worry about those values. If the values I am judged by are worthy and I am not proud of my reputation in that culture there are three reasons; three things that I can look at.

  • I am not living or behaving honorably
  • Someone is intentionally trying to harm my reputation
  • I am using the incorrect metric to measure my honor

There is little I can do about someone intentionally trying to harm my reputation. I can not control what they do. I can only live my truth and behave with honor. If my reputation is not repaired or sustained by my living my truth, then I am likely not living within the correct culture. That is something I can control. I can change the culture I am living in. I can do this by either influencing a change in the surrounding culture or removing myself to a place where the culture is more in line with my truth.

Courage

June 6, 1944 Normandy, France. There was a momentous display of courage, one that 75 years later we still look at it in awe. We still owe so much to those young men who sacrificed “their today for our tomorrow”. Make no mistake, there was courage out the wazoo on that beach. Mostly men under the age of 20 storming a beach that was heavily fortified by a very strong military presence. If you believe that they weren’t scared, you are disillusioned or stupid. They didn’t act on lack of fear, they acted despite the fear. They acted because their duty that day was more important than the fear they had. I don’t know anyone who would argue that those men were courageous. This is an example of an extreme display of courage, but it is a display of a specific type of courage that most people will never have to face – in part because of those thousands of young warriors did what they did.

That specific example is an important consideration to make when thinking about courage. There other types of courage, types that we face every day. Most of these incidents do not have the same level of physical danger, or any real physical danger in most cases. This should not, and does not lessen the act of courage, nor should it be compared or judged against the type of courage displayed on that day in 1944. The type of courage I will be discussing is the courage it takes to stand up, speak up, to be who you are called to be. The courage to do the right thing.

courage-is-the-most-important 

This quote resonated with me the first time I read it. So astute, so simple, so true.

The first virtue on most lists you will find of the Nine Noble Virtues (9NV) is courage. This is intentional, I believe. Courage is the foundation of all the other virtues. Courage is critical to living a Principle Centered Life. Without courage to act on the correct behaviors there is no action. Living a Principle Centered Life requires action…you can’t just fake it until you make it – you have to do it; you have to live it. You must own it.

Going against the status quo is not the easy path. It order to accomplish something you have never accomplished you have to do things you have never done. This take on the famous quote by an unknown speaker/author demonstrates a truth that is timeless. Courage is the principle that is the natural law that governs the actions required to step out and do what you have not done before. Most people do not accomplish great things, most don’t even accomplish minor things of importance. This is because people do not have the courage to truly want something different, they are content in with their bread and circuses.

For many people it is easy to make the connection with courage and going against the grain when we are talking about things like starting a business or running a marathon. Again, make no mistake those acts are displays of courage. Do you consider it an act of courage to face the unaccepting world when you are born with a difference from the majority? Is it courageous when the young black woman works to become a fortune 500 CEO? Absolutely! How about when the Autistic boy wants to become a doctor (yes, I stole that one!) Of course, that is courage.

So, when the guy at work introduces you to his husband understand that is courage. Wait, what? Why is it an act of courage for him to introduce you to his husband? When I introduce you to my wife, I would not consider that an act of courage. I have no fear of rejection. This is a normal thing for most people. We need to get to a place where those two men are as accepted as me and my wife. When you find out that Samantha used to be Samuel, that should not be a source of shock, it should be as acceptable as when Judy bought new boobies because she wanted to be a D cup, or when Frank got a nose job. All these examples are people choosing to match their bodies to their identity. Please do not think I am marginalizing any of these choices. I understand the decision to have sexual reassignment surgery is not the same thing as getting bigger tits. I am only bringing it down to the root for a common denominator.

You know what is also courageous? Accepting people for who they are without judging them based on your own paradigm. Remember that golden rule we all learned as children? Well, surprise, it is outdated. The platinum rule is the new, better rule. Instead of treating people how you would want to be treated try treating them how they want to be treated. This requires empathy and understanding other people…this means you have to get to know them. Which, you guessed it, requires courage.

As an end note I want to make it perfectly clear. There are people who should not be accepted. Toxic, harmful, dangerous people are who I am talking about. You should never accept toxicity from anyone (this includes yourself). Those who physically or mentally are dangerous to you should not be accepted, ever. Racist, bigots, and those who refuse to accept the differences in others are also not welcomed. It doesn’t need said but I will anyway; pedophiles are not acceptable. I understand that pedophilia may be their true sexual orientation, but consent requires a person mature/capable enough of understanding what they are consenting to. We must protect those who not capable of defending themselves.

From the words of the Allfather: When evil comes to you do not keep quiet or let your enemy find peace. (Havamal 126 – TAC study version)

I am Back….am I Back?

I’m back

Wow! Over a year since my last post…slacker!

Since I don’t believe in making excuses, because you don’t care, and because it is simply boring, I will not go into why I have taken a year off. I also will not be making any promises, implied or explicit, as to how often I will be writing these posts.

So maybe a little updating is in order. I have gotten more involved with The Asatru Community (TAC). I became the Arkansas State Ambassador in January. In April I accepted the Lead Ambassador assignment for the South-Central Region. This includes Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Texas, Tennessee, Missouri, Mississippi, Louisiana and Oklahoma. Right now, we are restructuring a bit. We have three ambassadors (2 of them are in the same state). So, we are working on getting new ones trained and operational.

I have set a goal to focus on/explore one of the 9NV each month. To spend the entire month with a daily reflection on that virtue. I post a quote in our regional FB group and journal about that quote. Some of that journaling may end up in these posts – again there will be no promises made.

To tie in with Pride Month I am focusing on courage this month. Courage is the foundation of a Principle Centered Life and is what those in LGBT+ community need to be who they were born to be. I was privileged to be born a straight male and blessed with finding my soul mate and best friend. I do not have the perspective to truly understand what being born with the sexual genitals that do not match my gender, nor do I understand what it is be attracted to someone of my same sex. I have no basis to understand what it is like to live in a world that is unaccepting of me because of how I was born.

However, because I have been blessed with the privileges I enjoy, I choose to be a friend to the community. To use my (the little I have) influence to help people like me have a little more empathy and to seek to understand as best we can. My sphere of influence is relatively small, but I have a little audience (my readers – both of you) in my role as ambassador for TAC. Since my primary role is in the Asatru/Heathen community I have focused my work on this task in this area. My daily courage posts are dedicated to those in the LGBT+ community.

Another focus I have dedicated myself to is being grateful, showing and expressing gratitude. I am not good at this. Sure, I am good at telling someone “Thank you” like my mother taught me. I am good at being polite (when I choose to). What I suck at is being grateful for my life and the blessings I live with. The opportunities – earned and gifted – I have been given and the results of the choices I have made. I write three detailed and specific gratitude, blessing, humbling experiences or something I am proud of in my journal every day. This is my plan to switch my thinking and behavior to become more grateful in my life. I believe that lack of gratitude is the source of why I not allowing myself to choose the better path. I am choosing to be depressed and angry – to be an asshole.

That is where I am now. I am back – at least for this post.

P.S. If you are interested in TAC – http://www.theasatrucommunity.org

What is right with this world

There is so much wrong with the world. We see it every day. The past few days we have seen some the worst. Another school shooting. Kids killing kids. Does it get much worse than that? Our government…I don’t even know where to start or what to say about the politics today in our country. It seems that we are living in the end of days. Are we seeing the beginning of Fimbulwinter?

Then something right happens. I am reminded that there is still right in this world, I just must open my eyes and see it.

Tonight, it was just the second born and I for supper. The wife and oldest are at work, the daughter is at a sleep over/birthday party. The boy and I went to a little diner for supper. I had only been to this diner for breakfast and the boy had not eaten there before. They have good food – its comfort food for me. Not so much the food but the atmosphere. It reminds me of the diners I grew up knowing. The places where Grandma Max owned and worked, where my mom worked…where I worked. Not fancy, just simple food made well. A friendly waitress who knows the regulars and greets them by name and with a smile. The owner’s family having their evening meal together in the back corner where they are rolling silverware and filling salt shakers while eating. Regulars enjoying the company of other regulars. Friendly exchanges like “Wow those boys have grown so fast” “How is your mom?” “I saw your aunt/uncle/cousin yesterday” … All said with a genuine frith.

She came in with her two young boys. The older one with obvious signs of Downs Syndrome and the younger one barely of walking age. The older boy came in with a huge grin on his face. People greeting him by name. He makes eye contact with me. I smile. He smiles and waves. They take the booth behind the one my son and I are sitting in. She smiles, and the room is brighter. The two boys are well mannered but also quite active. She handles the two with a patience and smile. The love of her children was so easy to see that I almost cried. Truly Frigg was dining with us in that diner tonight. She caught me making faces with her youngest and her and I made eye contact. She smiled, and her eyes sparkled, and I knew that the world is ok, we are ok.

This is what is right in the world. We need to focus on the good. We can’t ignore the evil, but we must not dwell on the evil. Love, the love of a mother like Frigg has for Baldur, the love I saw in the young mother tonight, that is what we should dwell on. That is what we should, no must, seek out.

frigg

This is what is right in the world. We need to focus on the good. We can’t ignore the evil, but we must not dwell on the evil. Love, the love of a mother like Frigg has for Baldur, the love I saw in the young mother tonight, that is what we should dwell on. That is what we should, no must, seek out.