Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Your honor or your life

I was thinking about one of my favorite movies today, Braveheart, and for whatever reason I recalled a line by Ian Bannen playing the character of Robert the Bruce Sr. The quote was, "All men betray. All lose heart." Nothing is as sad as when as a child, your best friend chooses someone else over you and that betrayal is a foreshadowing of what life is about. What Robert the Bruce Sr was telling his son was that ultimately, it's every man for himself in this life, no matter the political system, religion, national identity, or race. It's a hard pill to swallow as in our hearts, we would like to believe otherwise.

Who are the true believers? Ingrained in most men is a sense of honor. I think most of us feel bad when we betray, and at times it can cut the perpetrator almost as deep as the victim. Yet, in politics in life as well as in government, many will trade such temporal notions such as honor for the short way around the barn. Niccolò would have been proud. Where is the disconnect? There is none for many of us. Just an inconsistent application of principles due to competitive forces in our lives. There are those that have no honor, no sense of shame, of propriety or self perception. They ride high on a mixture of conceit, and arrogance that is fueled by their incompetence, insecurities, and desire to succeed. They have been chosen, but do not wish to be found out for what they are. Deace would call them groupies, or possibly gangsters in training.

Still, those words haunt me like when I was told there is no Santa Claus. Part of being a crusader is that it requires a belief and a consistency in principles that is above and beyond what most would call normal. I think at least some of us want to believe that others believe as we do, but in the end, looking at it rationally, we are all independent operators. So does this mean we should let go of the concept of honor? To grab our socks because others with small minds demand it? Not many years ago, I learned you cannot eat principles. By the same token, it is impossible to live with yourself if you violate or allow the violation of your own sense of dignity, honor and pride. While as men we may betray each other, never betray yourself, never lose heart.

Thank you for reading this blog.

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