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Bushido Virtues: Meiyo 名誉 (Honor)

HONOR! What a topic to think about!

In Japanese, honor is meiyo 名誉. As I contemplate honor I have mixed feelings of what the "true" meaning is, so here we go.

In my mind, the virtue of honor is exactly this: My commitment to what is right. The application of that is debatable in as many ways as there have been Starbuck drinks.

Our OPINION on "what is right" is the main variance in honor. What is right for some is despicable of another. What is just a side thought to someone is the concrete backbone of another's ideology.

To me at least, my honor belongs and answers only to ME! I choose what I believe to be right and I move forward with a commitment to answer to myself for veering off course. I don't judge or condemn others for their differing views of rightness. They have lived a completely different life with completely different goals, thoughts, and experiences. It would go against my honor to even partially judge their behavior and beliefs. In fact, for some things, what I believed to be right when I was 20 is not even close to what I believe to be right in my 30's!

All I'm trying to do is live moment by moment, contemplating the world around me and deciding for myself the right thing to do.

In the end, we all are in charge of our own honor. Make your choices line up with what you believe to be right at the time. Even if they prove wrong in the end, or you change you view later, at least you acted with honor. And as someone once told me and it stuck, "Honor is a gift you give yourself."


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