What is honor these days? Is it a forgotten art, an old fashioned notion? It can mean respect, as in Honor thy father and mother, or it can mean integrity. Perhaps one leads to the other. Respect means we don’t destroy property, name-call, or try to hurt someone. To have honor means there are lines we don’t cross.
For a soldier, we believe honor is in fighting to protect our nation. But the greater good, a concept bigger than ourselves, is at the core of why a soldier fights. Freedom is for more than one person, and is worth fighting for. But we battle about things that are not a greater good. Not even important enough to remember next week. We struggle and fight with each other over a parking place, or who should be first in line, and other things not worth our time.
To honor someone is to put them above ourselves, to respect their right to happiness as much or more than our own. And, like giving, it’s a circle. When we honor others, we bring honor to ourselves. Or to play off a classic, respect shown is respect earned.