Honour

I suspect that, on the whole, the notion of honour is fading. The age of grand gestures is perhaps an age gone by. Sure, there will be isolated outbursts of this thing, honour. We have honour killings which are not all that honourable to my eyes. This thing honour is perhaps culture specific. In Western Europe we once had this notion of chivalry, a notion which has faded into expedience.

If you watch martial arts movies, like I do, this concept of honour is thematic. One fighter is winning and the other fights back, at the very last moment he holds back on the death blow. If both fighters are honourable, they bow and the one who held back from killing is the “victor”. There is no big song and dance, rather a simple acknowledgment which passes between the two men. A long time ago, sparring full contact and with body armour and padding, I found myself with my opponent (and friend) in a head lock. The angle was such that all I had to do was raise my arms sharply and his neck would have snapped. He had been over eager and rather than kill him, I just said that I could have done it. He acknowledged, and it was a very sanguine lesson for both of us. It was the first time that I could easily have killed. In truth it scared me more than a little, but I was thankful for my control at that point in time and I guess so was he.

I have a hypothesis which says: To act with honour is not to have regrets.

Having cued this up:

Do I consider myself an honourable being?

What does honour mean to me?

Is honour only for fools?