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Honor Is Timely

By what road and means of travel does the person of considerable character arrive? What is the origin of such virtue? Despite the vanity of the day, their vision is not for sale at any price.

Who, or what, is this woman or man? His or her courage is undeniable, yet the inner compass – the navigation – is the key! How do such folks resist the temptations of wealth and glory, privilege and convenience? What fuels their virtuous independence? How does one persist, steadfast and generous like the Earth, to be an instrument of Truth?

The valor of those who rose to the challenge of their times is deeply inspiring. The documentary film, Ken Burns: The Civil War, instructs with social contrast. Prompted by recent reminders about the anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, and the spirit of the July 4th holiday in the United States, I chose to watch Episode 5, “The Universe of Battle (1863)” [available on HuluPlus and Netflix]. Burns treats both sides, Federal and Confederate, with respect. He observes the political context for their engagement, and yet, above all, human character predominates.

If one looks thoughtfully, unobstructed by romantic notions about rank and title, one sees that honor can reside as surprisingly in The Common as in The Leader – and always it is inspiring to behold. Indeed, by what road and means of travel did they get here? How did their inner navigation withstand trauma and flattery, unbroken?

Regrettably, the person in authority too often is Unconscious, thus The Common, as their followers or “teammates” or “associates”, may ironically be Unconscious, too. The vain belief in entitlement fuels the Unconscious. Any attempt to politicize “honor” adds confusion.

We are told General Robert E. Lee’s finest hour was when he spoke on the field of battle to the few who survived the retreat from the slaughter of Pickett’s Charge, as he very Consciously apologized for his failure. Honor is timely.

I have the privilege of knowing many Conscious leaders, who are part of The Commons or part of the authority of their world. I know them deeply and have studied their lives. Yet, I cannot tell you why they manifest honor when so many others model less.

Let’s honor the honorable ones – the Conscious ones – and witness their constructive influence in the world.

Happy Independence Day!