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Just What Is the Honorable Thing?

January 8, 2016

for JusJoJan – prompt: honorable


 

I grew up in a semi-religious home. My mother was a devout Christian and my father, for a lack of a better word, was agnostic. It wasn’t that he didn’t believe, he just didn’t make a big deal out of it. He was more into the natural world  (hunting, fishing, planting gardens, and working outside). Since my mother was religious enough for the both of them, I remember her saying on more than one occasion that we should do the “honorable thing.” But just what IS this “honorable thing” and when did IT go out of fashion?

We were taught to respect our elders and people of authority. So no bad-mouthing our grandparents, or even our parents, no disrespecting the police or military members. Although my parents often disagreed with a President or two, I never heard them bad-mouthing the person, just their politics. These people deserved respect; it was the honorable thing to do. Somewhere in our human history, all of this has gone horribly wrong. Honor is out of fashion, but I don’t know when it began.

I remember learning a very important lesson as a child about stealing. I’d gone to the small local library with my sister just before Christmas one year and they had a tree on display filled with tiny candy canes. I took one and my sister caught me. I raced home so that I could tell my mother what I did before my sister could. Somehow in my mind, it was just the honorable thing to do after my thievery. Every year for Christmas our parents would buy us these HUGE candy canes, at least 4-6 inches long and as round as my wrist. Well, my mother took me down to the library and made me give my HUGE candy cane to the librarian and apologize. It didn’t matter that the librarian said the candy canes were there for us to take. No, what mattered was that I took without asking. Giving up MY candy cane and apologizing was the honorable thing to do, and the most humbling experience of my life.

I guess you could say I grew up in an era of pollyanna-thinking and out-dated 50s and early 60s ideals, even though I wasn’t born until 1966. My parents were baby boomers and their parents were The Greatest Generation, the WWII era. Honor meant something back then. We expected it from everyone we came into contact with. It helped that we lived in a small railroad town where everyone practically knew everyone else.

I do remember “honorable things” losing their grip in my area some time after Nixon did a most dishonorable thing, but I wonder if it began with the Kennedy brothers and the Martin Luther King Jr. assassinations as a whole for the country. There’s always been mudslinging in politics, but I think there was a shadow cast over all of us after the 60s and 70s. As a whole, America slipped away from honor and into chaos. Our political system currently is the most dishonorable, disrespected and shameful of all times that I can remember. America has lost its way.

I still believe in respecting my elders and those of authority, but I am cautious now as to whom I consider honorable. Pollyanna-thinking has definitely died and I fear it will never be resurrected. Maybe there is still hope for honor though.

The “Honorable” prompt is brought to you by Tasha at Corner Of Confessions.


 

If you’d like to join in with the JusJoJan, see the rules here

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10 Comments
  1. Morgaine620 permalink

    I think it might rather be that times have changed so much that ppl don’t know anymore what the honourable thing is. That is why they can’t do it anymote. Society changes so rapidly and we are in contact with so many other cultures. How can “our” honourable thing” be something “dishonourable” in another culture? Even though I believe there are basics that should be common sense like The Golden Rule Linda wrote about. Great post

    • Thanks Bee 🙂 I think you are right… about our times and other cultures. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  2. Reblogged this on My Daily Musing and commented:
    Do we remember the honorable things anymore?

  3. My thinking is give everyone the benefit of the doubt to start. It’s so disappointing to find out someone is without honour though, isn’t it?

  4. It has gone horribly wrong because those in power has or are abusing their power, now we a taught or teach to question authority

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