Honor and Life

“Life every man holds dear; but the dear man holds honor far more precious dear than life.” ~ William Shakespeare

I daresay this morning that virtually every unpleasant element aspect of the human condition came into being through the words and actions of men and women who held their lives more dear than their honor.

Is your honor in tact? Do you live life nobly? One way to check how you are doing in this department is to ask yourself at the end of the day – the end of every day – “Did I do my best today to assist others to their fulfillment?”

Take time today to help another. How? Be creative. Pay attention. Pay it forward. Pay homage to someone you’ve respected in secret.

Pay Attention

Look into the eyes of those with whom you converse. Stay focused. Multi-tasking is overrated, especially when one of the tasks is a conversation. Let others complete their sentences. Don’t interrupt. Hear them out.

Pay it Forward

Benjamin Franklin articulated this valuable concept in a letter he wrote to Benajmin Webb on April 22, 1784:

I do not pretend to give such a Sum; I only lend it to you. When you […] meet with another honest Man in similar Distress, you must pay me by lending this Sum to him; enjoining him to discharge the Debt by a like operation, when he shall be able, and shall meet with another opportunity. I hope it may thus go thro’ many hands, before it meets with a Knave that will stop its Progress. This is a trick of mine for doing a deal of good with a little money.

Ralph Waldo Emerson also described how to pay it forward in his 1841 essay Compensation: “In the order of nature we cannot render benefits to those from whom we receive them, or only seldom. But the benefit we receive must be rendered again, line for line, deed for deed, cent for cent, to somebody.”

Pay Homage

You have no doubt been witness to a “PDA” (Public Display of Affection), but when was the last time you were witness or even party to a “PDR” (Public Display of Respect)? Take time to publicly recognize those whom you hold in high esteem. Others may snicker or sneer, but the world is in desperate need of honor and genuine homage.

When honor becomes your central concern, one of the last things on your mind is how you feel about your life at any given point in time. In fact, honor and integrity banishes self-centeredness.

Have a wonderful Sunday and be not the Knave that stops the progress of a good deed.

9 thoughts on “Honor and Life

  1. Coco

    Beautiful post. Paying it forward is what I call “miracle math”. The compounding is not just the things themselves but what grows with it, honor, kindness and love. Thanks for your vibrant thinking.


  2. Brenda

    PDR- Love it!

    Your posts are such a pleasant thing to look forward to daily. I believe that deep down we all really want to do the best we can in our lives, it may difficult at times but we move forward living and learning with each day. Your points are a good starting point for any one.

    Here’s to the next 200 posts!


  3. Colin

    A great three step program. You should call it “from knave to knight”. Of all these things, it seems like “pay homage” is the least used, but it is a very valuable attribute. Public displays of respect help give you public mark that you are moving toward. If you truly respect someone in public (not just lip service), then people will expect you to follow up by actually doing the things that you have shown respect to.


  4. Rosa Maysen

    I like what you are saying about honor and integrity, that when those are my central concern the arrangement of circumstances round about and how those affect me personally are almost irrelevant. We can be dealt any number of circumstances – it really ends up being a toss up doesn’t it? – but ultimate worthiness can only be proven through consistent honor. If that is intact then it doesn’t matter what our circumstances are. We take advantage of the opportunity for honor’s sake and do our part to increase the investment which is seeking to be increased.


  5. Isabelle Kearney

    Very powerful words this morning. They definitely beg the question, “what have I done,” and more importantly, “what am I going to do… today, tomorrow and the rest of my life.”

    Integrity is a rare commodity in this world. We each can be be just as wise as the individuals you have highlighted in this post, however, we have to be willing to develop our own character through integrity, honesty and concern for our fellow man above ourself.

    Good point about the importance of “PDR”, I’ve never really thought of it that way.


  6. Joshua

    Thanks Gregg, you can trust your pearls of wisdom are not held by me alone but thoroughly forwarded through those with whom I communicate.
    These things are of utmost importance to me, and held higher than my life now and forever. How deeply thank-ful I am for your consistent provision of a catalyst for tremendous change, which by the way, the world I center, has drastically increased, since the initiation of your writings!!! I can’t thank you enough for what “Being you” has provided for me, I can only hope to provide the same, but if I am to be honest I owe, in my heart greater than these things!
    Love to you, this glorious morn.


  7. Brad

    Gregg – this has been an incredible journey for me reading your 200+ posts. Thank you for continuing to “pay it forward”. From Maya Angelou to Rocky to Emerson to Children, each post has been a gift.
    My hope would be that each day something shifts and grows within myself so that I may make a difference in someone else’s life.
    I wonder what might shift for our world if we watched a little less tv drama and perhaps focused a little more time on better serving our fellows?? What kind of difference might it make for our future generations.


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