Mors Ante Infamiam
Thought must be the harder, heart the keener
Spirit shall be more – as our might lessens.
There lies our chief all cut down,
Good man on the ground; for ever may he grieve
Who now from this war-play thinketh to go.
I am old in years – hence I will not,
But by the side of mine own lord,
By my chief so loved, I think to lie.
– The Battle of Maldon
With the development of the Will comes Honour, the outward expression of a strong sense of identity and personal integrity. This trait is a fierce loyalty to one’s principles, one’s kinsmen and one’s heritage. To sacrifice any one of these trinity is to lose one’s honour, which in societies that still value it, is a fate equal to or worse than death.
Honour is the greatest good that a man may come to know in this world. To act honourably is to be just, noble and brave, it is to be generous with one’s friends and ruthless to one’s foes or those who question or besmirch one’s reputation. To act dishonourably is a crime against oneself and one’s kin. It is a form of self-destruction that can only be undone by being shriven by one’s kinsmen via an act of penance that fits the dishonour.
To live in an honourless society naturally leads to a population who are not familiar with the importance of honour in the ways that our ancestors were. Because of this, dishonourable acts and behaviours are frequent in today’s society. People are individuals who believe their power and happiness lies in their independence from ties to others. In reality this actually makes people weaker, as the society they live in becomes diseased by its lack of coherence, which in turn infects that individual with its illness. False values such as equality and ‘diversity’ – which actually serve to undermine, not strengthen, our vital links to each other – have replaced honour, while tedious, impersonal, bureaucratic and corrupt legalism have suppressed the individual’s right to deal with an affront to his honour in the only truly just way – through the judgment and actions of oneself and one’s kin.
Honour is a relatively easy thing to attain. One simply decides to live in an way determined by principles such as courage, honesty, loyalty, steadfastness and caring about one’s reputation. But in a society in its senility, such dignity is a distant memory to most, though a reconnection with that memory, by way of such noble principles like venerating the traditions, ideas and practices of our ancestors, can stir sleeping honour into wakefulness.