At Frankly Shamanic we consider that there are six conditions that our soul requires to flourish, we sometimes refer to them as ‘soul needs’. They are:
Personal honour, courage, hospitality, empathy, unconditional positive regard and congruence, the first three are very ancient values and are held in high esteem in many cultures, particularly by the Vikings. The last three were identified by eminent American psychologist Carl Rogers in the fifty’s.
A book could be written on each need. While I have no intention of going into that much depth I will just discuss one condition each week for the next five weeks.
This week I will be looking at honour:
Honour is defined as: a quality of worthiness that affects self-evaluation of one's integrity, dignity and self-respect. Dr Samuel Johnson, in his A Dictionary of the English Language (1755), defined honour as having several senses, the first of which was "nobility of soul, magnanimity, meaning greatly generous. It is the virtue of being great of mind and heart. It is a refusal to be petty, a willingness to face danger, and actions for noble purposes. It was identified by Aristotle as "the crowning virtue".
Noah Webster of the American Language defines Magnanimity as: greatness of mind; that elevation or dignity of soul, which encounters danger and trouble with tranquillity and firmness; which raises the possessor above revenge, and makes him delight in acts of benevolence; which makes him disdain injustice and meanness, and prompts him to sacrifice personal ease, interest and safety for the accomplishment of useful and noble objects.
To our ancestors their personal sense of honour was the most important thing in life to them. Actually, they believed that it was more important than life and they would sacrifice their life to protect their honour.
In today's modern world the word honour is rarely heard and even less often considered. Therefore, I tend to think of it as self-respect. Let me ask you a couple this question, do you respect yourself? If the answer is no or not much consider how would you be different if your upbringing taught you that your self-respect was the most important thing that you could possibly have?
I call it personal honour or self-respect because it is not about how others see or judge you or if other people respect you or not. It is entirely about your evaluation and judgement of you, irrelevant of other people’s opinion.
Within this idea consider your behaviour and your code of conduct. Do you think you would need someone else to give you a code or give you a set of commandments? Or would your own sense of self-respect and integrity guide you?
Low self-esteem is a western plague. People dislike and hate themselves. We believe this is because our society no longer teachers the value of personal honour. If you are one of these people ask yourself what can I do or how can I change my life so that I can start respecting myself?