Honour (Meiyo) We have only one judge of honour and character and that is ourselves. Decisions we make and how these decisions are carried out reflects whom we truly are.
This week we drill down into the virtue of Honour, but before we do a quick recap on the series so far. The seven Virtues of Bushido (Bushido translates to the samurai’s way) sets out their philosophical code of behaviour. Each week I take one virtue and explore it’s meaning, value and influence for us in today’s modern environment. I want to understand if these virtues, once held so fervently, are relevant today.
We’ve reviewed Integrity – the very essence of our character and society itself. Respect in which we focussed on 3 topics, respecting each other, women at home, work and in relationships and resecting ourselves. Last week was Heroic Courage where I shared my three tips of facing your fear, applying a growth mindset to life and the final one of visualising one’s success to make it so.
I don’t need to be convinced further - these first three virtues are as critical today as they were in medieval Japan
But what about Honour? Is it an old-fashioned concept? It’s certainly not a word I hear in popular vocab at the local cafe. Honour means integrity, honesty, duty. To act with Honour can simply mean that you are a person who can always be relied upon to do what they say. Let’s consider three practical applications of the virtue Honour and from that decide if in fact it is relevant today.
1. Identify with Yourself – Each of us have principles and values. Some inherited from our parents and others we’ve built along life’s journey. These values anchor us in society and guide the decisions we make and tolerances we accept. Assuming they are moral then we should hold them in high esteem and defend them. It’s ok to compromise your viewpoint but not your principles. One’s personal and family reputation is judged by others based on how we act in society, which is why It matters greatly to identify to your own principles and values and live by them.
2. Be Honest with yourself – it may seem like a small thing but when we lie to ourselves, we can blur the boundaries of our truth and integrity. Once you’ve made a commitment, be that to finish an assignment, to stop procrastinating on your fitness regime, or simply rise on the alarm, hold yourself extremely accountable. Don’t except failure, push the excuse aside and know that the small things matter greatly and when we can master these, we learn how to crush the more difficult ones. It starts with the work we do on ourselves. When you become known as a person that acts in alignment with your values you establish loyalty and credibility with others.
3. Live with Purpose – Our time on this planet is exceptionally short. There are circa 7.7bn people on earth, there is only one you. You are completely unique and have everything you already need to make an impact with your life. Take time to discover what makes you tick, what motivates you, what inspires you. Tony Robbins has spent his entire life teaching humans how to find their purpose and if you’ve not had the chance to read or listen to his material it’s worth taking the time. Research links living with purpose to longevity of life. Having a sense of meaning inspires your thoughts and actions every day, can create happiness which in turn transcends to those around you.
As I summarise these three aspects of Honour, I can appreciate their importance. We can also say It’s not an exhaustive list as there are many other aspects to the virtue of Honour.
Whilst the word may be a little old-fashioned sounding, I’m going to let you decide its relevance.
Next week we review the Bushido virtue of Compassion (Jin)
To your continued future Health, Success, and Happiness