Tell me not, (sweet,) I am unkind,
That from the nunnerie
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind,
To war and arms I fly.
True: a new Mistress now I chase,
The first foe in the field;
And with a stronger fair embrace
A sword, a horse, a shield.
Yet this inconstancy is such,
As you too shall adore;
I could not love thee, dear, so much,
Lov’d I not Honour more.
My latest post is up on Catholic Match:
Of course, honor isn’t only expressed in momentous, world-shaking events like the American Revolution. In fact, it’s mostly expressed in small, day-to-day affairs in which we are offered the chance to do either what is right or what is easy.
There’s an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show that illustrates this well (if you haven’t seen the show, you should check it out; it’s a ton of fun, and has more raw talent packed into a relatively small cast than half the shows of today have all put together). The episode sees Rob (Van Dyke), a TV writer, discovering that he has to take a business trip to review a new performer his show might want to hire. Only the trouble is, the trip would mean missing his son’s school play. Rob doesn’t want to miss the play, but feels that his responsibility to his job has to take precedence in this case, especially since getting out of the trip would mean lying to his boss. His wife, Laura (Mary Tyler Moore) thinks he ought to put his son’s play first, and pressures him into lying his way out of the trip.
However, after sleeping on it (and having a hilarious nightmare) Rob decides that he needs to be the one to make this decision and goes on the trip. Laura’s angry at first, and Rob spends the trip feeling guilty, but when he gets home she admits that she’d much rather he do what he thinks is right than cater to her wishes every time. The fact that he is willing to honor his responsibilities, even when it is difficult, is precisely what makes him a good husband and father.
Such a small domestic argument probably isn’t what comes to mind when you think of the word ‘honor,’ but for most of us, this is how the matter will manifest itself; not in a decision whether to run home or fight for the freedom of your nation, but in the simple question of which of two competing responsibilities in daily life you will give precedence to.