- high respect; great esteem.
- adherence to what is right or to a conventional standard of conduct.
- something regarded as a rare opportunity and bringing pride and pleasure; a privilege.
- regard with great respect.
fulfill (an obligation) or keep (an agreement).
Today’s world does not place a great deal of emphasis on honor – the noun or the verb. Newspaper headlines are filled with stories of individuals who have conducted their lives dishonorably. My personal past is rife with dishonorable behavior under the influences of alcohol and ego. That did not miraculously change on my sobriety date. However, sober living did eventually make honorable intention a top priority. In the end analysis of my personal inventories, living honorably with self-respect became more desirable than riches or fame. As with everything in sobriety, it is not a pursuit of perfection, but rather a life of continuing growth.
Perhaps that is why my brain automatically zeroes in on stories of honor evidenced by other individuals. This is especially true in the world of politics where that asset is in short supply. Senator John McCain is one of those men who rises above political commonality. We know his story and we know his politics.
I don’t call him a great man because of his political stance. I have disagreed with his brand of politics on most occasions. But, his life has been an outstanding lesson in honor – both the noun and the verb. From his military career during which he was a POW enduring torture to his distinguished service to our country in government, Senator McCain obviously lived his life by a standard epitomized by a standard of valor and personal sacrifice.
His shoes will be hard to fill. His legacy will be remembered long after the hoots and hollers of today’s political players will be merely a footnote in history. His strength of character will be memorialized aside other great statesmen while the questionable character of today’s political movers and shakers will be remembered as nothing more than self-serving arrogance.
Living with honor and self-respect is not for wimps just as sobriety is not for wimps. Senator McCain cemented my admiration for him during the rally for his Presidential campaign when a woman commented untruthfully about President Obama’s faith walk and his birthplace in a disparaging manner. McCain took the microphone from her and proceeded to correct her assertions with a most eloquent statement of support for an equally honorable man, Barack Obama. That response was class and grace as only a great statesmen could evoke.
We live in a nation which desperately needs the service of men and women who are driven by the old-fashioned ideals of honor and self-sacrifice. As President Obama and Senator McCain have shown us, this is not a political thing, rather, it is a character thing. Character is the most glaring absence in today’s political discourse.
When voting this November, perhaps we could become familiar with the candidates, disregard that R or D beside their names and cast a vote for honor and character. It’s a commodity available in all political flavors. It’s our duty as citizens to find it.