This is part two of a three part series. Please refer to part one before proceeding.
Having covered the first three noble virtues (Courage, Truth, and Discipline) in part one, today we’ll focus on the next three: Honor, Loyalty, and Hospitality.
Honor is a tricky word to describe because its meaning not only changes from person to person, but also from culture to culture, and even over the course of time. For our purposes however, we will go with honor being “a concept entailing a perceived quality of worthiness and respectability that affects both the social standing and the self-evaluation of an individual or corporate body.”
In essence, it is holding yourself to a standard that makes you stand out as being noble. If you have honor, your core beliefs are those that hold you above the average Joe, and it shows you accept nothing but excellence. For the modern family man, having honor can be something as simple as making sure you shield your children from the toxicity of modern media, or picking up the reins of some emotional moment for your family. You endure the bullshit because you’re stronger than the opposition. Recently, my family dog had to be put down. At 8:30 at night I decided that I was going to dig his grave and plant a tree over the site. I believe this was an honorable thing to do, and it set an example for my family. To live honorably, one must stick to their moral code, sometimes choosing pain or suffering but always being true to himself.
Loyalty is something that I believe all men can sense. As men, we have the pack/tribe mentality (or at least you should) and being loyal to your own group is what the entire premise rests on. Loyalty is defending your own at all times and giving yourself 100% to the greater good of the tribe. Your family can be considered your tribe and it is up to you as the leader to stay loyal to them.
Let it be noted, that loyalty doesn’t mean being taken advantage of. If you benefit from someone’s loyalty, you must give back something in return. Your loyalty to your family as a protector and provider is given back by your wife by her respecting you as a man and understanding your needs. Loyalty to your children is making sure you’re committed toward their best interests to guide them through life.
This virtue also falls under the tribe/family. Accepting one of your own in a time of need is something you should do. It comes back to honor and loyalty as you need to have honor to be that kind of man and have loyalty to your tribe members. Once again this is not a trait that should be exploited. Letting your brother or trusted friend sleep on your couch for a night is one thing. Them trying to stay for a month is something different, especially if you already have a ton of mouths to feed. Also, don’t just let anyone into your castle (heh). My wife, children, and possessions are all inside and only those I truly trust may enter. On the other hand, I will not enter another man’s home if he isn’t there to okay it. The castle hold everything a man holds sacred and invaders are not welcome.
Being hospitable can be more than just providing physical shelter and food. For me, being hospitable toward your family could be using a skill you have that they are in need of. For example, I’m in the tech field, and I wouldn’t charge a family member what I’d charge a stranger. The key take away from today’s post is an understanding of the tribe/family and your role in it.
As with last week, learning the virtues is one thing, but using them in your life is the ultimate goal toward being a better man. Start thinking about how you could live a more honorable life. Will you be able to look back on your life and think that you lived it honorably? Will your children sing your praises? Start thinking about the type of man you want to be and what type of man you want the world to know you as.
To work on loyalty, you have to take action when one of your own need it. For hospitality, work on lending a hand to someone when they’re at a low point. As we progress through the virtues, its must be noted that some of these may need to be “reserved” for a moment in the future. For example, being hospitable may be something you don’t get to exercise for a long time, but always remember the virtues as you’re faced with situations where you can apply them.