Not long ago, I wrote a short article about honor because I do believe there is a lack-of it in our societies. Most people in my opinion (after reading the comments left) understood what I meant. Some readers decided that the word integrity can be used instead of honor for a better effect. I can agree with that: integrity or honor, are rather similar in my mind.
Yet, there are indeed people who view honor differently. Mr. Spirit Whisperer left me a comment saying that: “Honor means different things to different people”. Sadly, I have to agree.
Last fall, a man (Mohammad Shafia) was arrested with his wife and son for killing his first wife and three daughters in the city of Montreal, Quebec. It was an act regarded as honor-killing. In a recorded call by the police, the man is heard saying: “ Even if they hoist me up to the gallows, nothing is more dear to me than my honor.” His daughters refused to abide by his strict code of behaviour so the man with the help of his second wife and son, killed them. He is also recorded as saying: “May the devil shit on their graves.”
Now, I have to wonder if the last statement is honorable even in the twisted and sick mind of Mr. Mohammad Shafia? Disrespecting dead people is honorable?! And since when has killing others become honorable? Have we not all climbed-down off the trees?
I certainly agree with Mr. Spirit Whisperer that people have different ideas about what honor is but I do not condone or excuse such thinking. Many people are illiterate and uneducated on our planet. Thus, they are easily manipulated and controlled. Religions have been doing that for thousands of years: making-up context and meaning from religious texts such as the Qu’ran or the Bible (as two great examples). So, I guess we have some imams and priests to blame for being conniving swine that lie through their teeth and instigate hatred.
I will take this opportunity then, to explain the meaning of honor. It is not that hard. I just picked-up my dictionary and turned to the word “honor” and this is what it states: “honor n. 1 respect, esteem, reverence. 2 reputation, glory, integrity ...”. What integrity or respect or even glory exists in killing someone who has not harmed You physically? Honor is something personal. Nobody can take-away my honor unless I give it up myself. The actions of others who have free-will, cannot affect my honor.
The same can be said of Mr. Safia’s daughters: in no way, could any of their actions affect his honor. Only the individual himself/herself can affect their own honor. Honor is something in the abstract and of the Spirit. If we have respect and integrity, we hold our honor. Honor is Truth. On the other hand, if we are rotten, malicious and disrespectful, we nullify our own honor: just as Mr. Safia did (between other things ...).
Why is this so difficult to understand? And do dictionaries in other languages/countries define honor as something else?