Are honor, respect, and integrity dead? This post may come across as negative but understand that I would like to jolt you into self-reflection and personal action. I guess we’ll see how this goes.
It should come as little shock that the world no longer respects the United States. It could be argued that perhaps we don’t even respect ourselves. Think about that for a moment; do we even deserve respect? Respect is earned; at least it should be. Think about what “respect” is. It’s a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.
What achievements have we really made lately? We have squandered educational opportunities, allowed our infrastructure to crumble, literally handed our middle class to foreign powers, allowed our unalienable Rights to be eroded away and allowed and embraced failed ideas to take root as the possible solution to our many problems. Our abilities? Sure we are able to do quite a bit, but we are not motivated to do almost any of them. Instead, we let the less capable lead the way. Qualities? What great qualities does this nation have left? I would argue that we don’t even have the ability to say something as simple as “at least we have our integrity”.
Think about what integrity is. Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. Ironically, everyone seems to be claiming to be of high moral principle; only the same people claiming strong moral principles are the same ones who think their way is the only way and that everyone else is morally inferior. And who exactly is being honest besides the few who are brave enough to speak the truth; the same truth that so few want to listen to anyway or will simply pass off as conspiracy? Yes, there is truth; but what good is the truth when few want to hear it because they have been coddled their entire lives and such truth would hurt feelings or create a sense of instability? So much for self-examination and accountability?
Now think about the word “honor”. Honor is high respect or great esteem. Again, it could be argued that we don’t even have respect for ourselves… let alone “high respect” for anything. We lie to each other just as easily as we lie to ourselves. We degrade one another; especially those who try to point this out. We empower failures and belittle the successful. We even promote failure in our children by not preparing them for the harshness of the “real world”. Look at what this has done. Children need “safe spaces”, everything is “offensive”, everyone needs apologies and so many expect to be millionaires by doing absolutely nothing. Yet, when someone sets out to make a difference, they are shunned and belittled for making that difference or for making a profit. This is literally a disorder of structure and function in the human condition. If you were to look that up in a dictionary, you would find the word “disease”.
You should know that this disease has spread everywhere. Let me give you just a silly example. If there was anyone that we should be able to count on, it would be those who are closest to us; right? This spring, I decided that I would do something special. I decided that I would give away a few copies of my various books. After all, the messages I try to share with the world are important and I wanted to give those around me an opportunity to review the material without spending their money. So I sent out feelers to the various groups (political, health, etc) and a handful of people reached out to me to say that wanted a free copy.
I spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars sending books out and hand-delivering them to those who asked. It was not just a free book though. I asked for ONLY one thing in return; a simple review. Good or bad, I wanted a review. Reviews are helpful. To date: just under 20% have decided to follow through with this agreement. These are folks who specifically sought out a copy and made an agreement with a hand-shake or promise that a review would be the trade for the item. There were no blurry lines or misunderstandings. Under 20% have followed through.
Honor, respect, integrity? So if people have a hard time following through with something as simple as writing a review for something they promised they would just imagine how they would be when it comes to something really important. Perhaps this is why the people don’t even flinch when someone under criminal investigation decides they are going to run for President. Perhaps this is why no one is held accountable for things like Operation Gun Runner or Benghazi. Perhaps this is why we live a world of debt and why the IRS can target certain groups based on political ideology and with impunity.
Let the coming calamity of this nation be of little shock. Without honor, self-respect, and integrity, there is really very little left worth holding on to or fighting for. I can promise you this, I will fight tooth and nail for someone deserving of respect and honor, but I will no longer lift a finger for those who show that they don’t even respect themselves. You want my respect, you are going to have to earn it. Actions speak louder than words.