Cunning and Clever or Honourable and Impeccable?

With which pairing do you associate?

How might others see you?

It seems to me that many aspire to being cunning and clever, that way one can find some “advantage” in every situation, spot some short-cuts, make bogus benefits and insurance claims, practise gamesmanship, beat the system and be “smart”, perhaps in the know. It speaks a little about politics in a socio-political context. Maybe in times of need it is the cunning and clever who acquire where the honourable and impeccable go hungry.

But, which of these pairings lifts the spirit? Which is open and free?

It is for each to decide how they wish to orient their lives and you can decide for yourself if the pairings overlap or are to a large extent mutually exclusive. Personally, it seems to me that there is little overlap between cunning and impeccability. Cunning has an air of subterfuge about, it is a shadow quality. It does not smack of being fair. One could say that cleverness is a step on the way to wisdom, but it has the sense of “clever” and not yet wise, to it. We might say someone is clever at school which means good at exams. They are not yet sage, though they might become.

So, cunning is a shadow word, clever is on the fence, honour and impeccability are light words. Perfidy and plotting are shadow words, inclusion and openness are light.

Having cued this up:

Do I prefer shadow words or light words?

Do I aspire to be cunning?

Do I aspire to be clever?

Do I aspire to be honourable?

Do I aspire to be impeccable?

Not Biting the Bullet

Bite the bullet

Accept the inevitable impending hardship and endure the resulting pain with fortitude.

To endure a painful or otherwise unpleasant situation that is seen as unavoidable.

To accept unpleasant consequences of one’s assumed beliefs.


There is a tendency to try to avoid biting the bullet. It is not something that is generally done with joy and people can go to great lengths to try to avoid biting the bullet. This can cause whatever the bullet munching scenario is, to get much worse. There is often a time window for biting the bullet and after that things can go badly tits up or pear shaped.

It takes courage to bite the bullet and not bury your head in the sand. It can even be an honourable thing to do. I suspect that both courage and honour are going a little out of fashion these days. People would rather win with dishonour than lose with honour, you see it on the football pitch and even now on the rugby pitch, where people fake stuff in front of the referee. {Oh dear, a bit of old-fart-mind has just made its way into this post.}

If I hadn’t bitten the bullet in respect of my cancer symptoms the T3 would have eaten through and I would have metastatic disease now, I might be nice shade of yellow. A more common example of biting the bullet stems from contraception malfunction, which has potentially life changing consequences. There is a time window in each of these cases.

Previously I was talking about predestination and if you don’t accept that completely, it follows that we have some responsibility for our actions and the consequences thereof. Which means that on occasion we may need to bite the bullet.

Having cued this up:

Have I ever failed to bite the bullet in a timely manner?

What were the outcomes?

Were they worse than they might otherwise have been?


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?