Thursday, February 24, 2005


Content thyself to be obscurely good. When vice prevails and impious men bear away, the post of honor is a private station
- Joseph Addison

This post will be a work in process for the next several days so be sure to check back here and see what has changed and how it is taking shape.

HON'OR, n. on'or. [L. honor, honos.]
(excerpt from the Webster's 1828 Dictionary)

1. The esteem due or paid to worth; high estimation.

A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country. Matt.13.

2. A testimony of esteem; any expression of respect or of high estimation by words or actions;

as the honors of war; military honors; funeral honors; civil honors.

3. Dignity; exalted rank or place; distinction.

I have given thee riches and honor. 1 Kings 3.
Thou art clothed with honor and majesty. Ps. 104.
In doing a good thing, there is both honor and pleasure.

4. Reverence; veneration; or any act by which reverence and submission are expressed,as worship paid to the Supreme Being.

5. Reputation; good name;

as, his honor is unsullied.

6. True nobleness of mind; magnanimity; dignified respect for character, springing from probity, principle or moral rectitude; a distinguishing trait in the character of good men.

7. An assumed appearance of nobleness; scorn of meanness, springing from the fear of reproach, without regard to principle;

as, shall I violate my trust? Forbid it, honor.

8. Any particular virtue much valued; as bravery in men, and chastity in females.

9. Dignity of mien; noble appearance.

Godlike erect, with native honor clad.

10. That which honors; he or that which confers dignity; as,the chancellor is an honor to his profession.

11. Privileges of rank or birth; in the plural.

Restore me to my honors.

12. Civilities paid.

Then here a slave, or if you will, a lord,
To do the honors,and to give the word.

13. That which adorns; ornament; decoration.

The sire then shook the honors of his head.

14. A noble kind of seignory or lordship, held of the king in capite.

"On my honor" or "Upon my honor" words accompanying a declaration which pledge one's honor or reputation for the truth of it. The members of the house of lords in Great Britain are not under oath, but give their opinions on their honor.

"Laws of honor," among persons of fashion, signify certain rules by which their social intercourse is regulated,and which are founded on a regard to reputation. These laws require a punctilious attention to decorum in external deportment, but admit of the foulest violations of moral duty.

"Court of honor, a court of chivalry;" a court of civil and criminal jurisdiction, having power to redress injuries of honor, and to hold pleas respecting matters of arms and deeds of war.

Isn't it interesting that one word could have so many definitions? I think that this abundance of definitions is an indication of just how complex a word we are trying to define. I am also impressed by how each definition is really required to give the fullness of meaning to what honor is all about.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Great Things...

All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom; justice; honor; duty; mercy; hope.
- Sir Winston Churchill

Hi folks. What a great quote. I am amazed that such incredible concepts can be contained in the framework of single words. They are deceptively simple. I guess I became aware of this when reading the Bible recently. It struck me that if someone had asked me what "propitiation" was that I couldn't tell them. The bad news was that I was having trouble explaining the simple words like "grace" and "good news" too! I had to get honest and admit that I was familiar with the words and could use them in a perfectly good sentence, but I really didn't have a very clear understanding of the concepts that lay behind the words. Then I had to go and find out what they meant!

The same applies to the words that Mr. Churchill laid out in his statement. What is freedom? Justice? Honor? Duty? etc. These words bear enormous weight, and they are words that are featured prominently in discussions of faith, patriotism, and character. It seems prudent that we examine them and try to figure out exactly what they mean to us when we use them. It is also vitally important that we understand them if we are going to transfer these concepts and character traits to our children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. And I think that few would argue that it is crucial for future generations to grasp these concepts if there is to be any hope for our world to be any better for our descendents.

I was able to do some work on the post last night, but it ended up being mostly research. I'm really not quite ready to move forward with my planned topic tonight, but will be working on it some more tonight.

There are some really fascinating quotes out there about honor, which is the character trait that I will be beginning with. I remember that there was a really great quote about honor in the movie Rob Roy. His sons had asked him what honor was, and he responded, "Honor is something no one can give you…and no one can take away from you. It is a man's gift to himself."

What does honor mean to you? I've never served in the military so I'd be really interested to know what the different branches teach about honor during basic training (if anything.) I would expect that it is also a subject of the training of the various elite forces too. Is it something that is taught explicitly, a concept that is simply inherent in the people that pursue these career paths (not likely), or is it something that is expected and demanded as part of the culture? I really would like to hear from you about what you think about it. I hope to have some of my initial thoughts written out tomorrow.

So, I hope that you'll be looking forward to that and I'll certainly be looking forward to reading your contributions too.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Back In the Saddle Again... Almost!

The funny thing about being "back in the saddle again" is that they can put you in the saddle a couple of ways: you can sit in the saddle or they can drape you across it! I'm not quite sure whether I'm sitting or draped yet! I really thought that I'd get something written before now - and without a nudge (Thanks, Dan!) - but getting back to full work days has been a little more challenging than I thought that it would be. The good news is that my stamina seems to be back now - more or less - and that should get me back into the swing of writing again too. I also will have temporary access to a laptop which will allow me to blog from home some. That will help because the thing that drives me out of the office at the end of the day most often is that I get hungry and tired. If I can work from home on the blog that will allow me to take care of the necessaries and still write.

My time since I have gotten back to the office has been involved with trying to think through goals for the year and to work on a business plan to help drive my business. It is funny to realize that I have been doing business for two years without a clear direction. I hope that will be changed by the end of this month! Someone asked me last week if I was trying to ease back into the flow of work. I told them "You ease back into real estate like you ease into a professional wrestling ring!" You might try to sneak in, but the chances are that someone is going to grab you and drag you into the melee kicking and screaming - whether that was your plan or not! I guess that is how I managed to go two years without a clear business plan. I've also been wading through the tons of email that was waiting for me upon my arrival!

This past week I went to Orlando for a trade convention and had a lot of time to read on my trip. Shortly before I headed to Orlando I stopped by a Scouting supply store and picked up the latest edition of the Boy Scout Handbook and the Boy Scout Fieldbook. I was able to read about 75% of the Handbook on the way to and from Orlando. (Daytona 500 traffic helped with this a good bit!) As I was reading the handbook I was reminded of a plan that I had to write about some character traits that the BSA holds dear. On the way back I decided that I would try to write about the elements of the Scout Oath, Law, Motto, and Slogan. They contain such great direction for character building, however, some of their meaning is hard to grasp.

The Oath begins with the words, "On my honor...." I remember as a Scout just blowing by these words without much of a thought. In fact, I think that the explanation of the meaning of this phrase in the Handbook leads to this kind of mental dismissal. It basically says that the phrase is just a statement that you are making a promise. However, the words "my honor" convey so much more than a mere promise.

Honor is a concept that is quickly fading from the American mindset - yet it was once so very strong in our people. A brief perusal of the biographies of many of the personalities of the American Civil War make it blatantly clear that honor was a central theme in the lives of the men and women of the period. (Thank God for the US Marines who are one of the last great bastions of the true meaning of this concept!)

Anyway, my intention is to write in this blog about these different concepts and hopefully distill them down into something that will be useful and instructive for young boys that are in the process of becoming men. I will certainly appreciate your input and thoughts on these concepts. I will probably write about them from various perspectives and using differing styles so I expect your comments will be enlightening.

I hope to perhaps have the first installment ready for tomorrow so check back here this week!

On a totally different train of thought, while I was in Florida I was able to visit the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral. If you haven't been there recently, you really should visit. The last time I was there was in 1988 and there really wasn't that much going on of excitement. Now there are numerous video presentations including several IMAX movies. There is a museum dedicated to the Saturn V / Apollo program that is phenomenal (it includes a fully restored Saturn V rocket and numerous other exhibits.) There is also a full-sized space shuttle display and the Astronaut Hall of Fame. I enjoyed this visit tremendously and look forward to being able to go back and see the things that I missed this time. It is totally worth the cost of admission!

Friday, February 04, 2005

Abducted By Aliens...

I feel like someone who is back from the dead. It has been ages since I made my last post here. I dare say that many who have read this blog in the past may have given up on me, but I hope that the number has been small. My intention was not to leave the blog unattended for so long, but for whatever reason WB's attempts to ghost write for me while I was gone didn't work out. (You missed out on a real treat for sure!)

But then again, I suppose that I am getting a little ahead of myself. I really should explain why I have seemingly dropped off of the face of the earth.

It all started on New Year's Eve. Boy, that sounds like the beginning to a novel! Well, regardless of what you might be thinking my absence has absolutely nothing to do with personal revelry on the last night of 2004. The problem actually began much earlier than the earliest year-end party. I woke up on Friday morning with a terrible pain in my lower right abdomen. I didn't think too much of it, figuring that my morning constitutional would take care of the problem. Unfortunately it didn't.

At that point several factors converged with nearly catastrophic consequences. #1 I am male, and most of those of my gender really don't want anything to do with doctors' offices. #2 I am naturally stubborn and have not yet lost all of the vestiges of earlier (younger) notions that I am ten feet tall and bulletproof. #3 I have a pretty strong constitution and can usually outlast most sicknesses. #4 I don't have health insurance and was in denial.

After suffering all day Friday and all day Saturday I woke up Sunday and my parents insisted that I go to the doctor. After a little poking and prodding the doctor told me that I needed to go to the emergency room - he thought that it was appendicitis. Well, to make a long story short, it was appendicitis and my appendix had ruptured. That night they rushed me to surgery where they removed my faulty appendix. I spent the next 4 days and nights at the luxurious Rowan Regional Medical Center.

Since then I have been at my parents' house (no Internet access) recovering. It has been quite the experience. One thing that I have discovered is that the drugs that they send you home with aren't nearly as good as the drugs that they give you in the hospital. The stuff that they gave me there gave me some really cool dreams whenever I closed my eyes. The stuff that they sent me home with wasn't even as good as Motrin. In fact, I quit taking the stuff that they gave me and just relied on Motrin instead.

There were two pretty rough parts. The first was the first 36 hours or so following my surgery. They wouldn't give me anything to drink. I had been fasting ever since the first pain hit me and was basically empty. That was no fun. Dying of thirst would really stink. The second part came after I got home. The doctor had left a drainage hole in the bottom of my incision. It began to drain in earnest when I got home. The smell was horrendous. For the first week there was a constant smell that smelled like something dead. You couldn't get away from it no matter what you tried. That trial has eased up some, but still lingers somewhat.

It has been interesting discovering the things that I have taken for granted - things like standing up straight (WB actually had a pool to see if anyone could guess when I would do it. The day that I actually did stand up straight, I did it before I realized that I had done it! Unfortunately no one picked the day that it happened in the pool!) washing your own feet, getting into and out of bed by yourself, and tying your own shoes. I live for these small victories!

It is also amazing how quickly you can get tired of sitting in a chair or lying in bed and watching movies, reading, or sleeping. Fortunately, I have gotten a little bit more mobile over the past two weeks. I have been venturing out here and there as I have been trying to rebuild my stamina - and wait for the drainage to finally stop. The stamina is returning, but unfortunately so is the drainage! There is good news on that front though. The drainage at the very least seems to be slowing down and that is a major encouragement.

So, if you have been wondering where I have been I wasn't abducted by aliens! Hopefully I will be getting back into the routine of writing and doing normal stuff again.