By Steve Weber
Adherence to what is right or to a conventional standard of conduct is one definition of HONOR. Another may be defined as understanding the difference between right and wrong and acting accordingly. Honor is considered to be the highest of virtues not just in Japan, but in countries throughout the world. When you examine the words used to describe an honorable person: upright, upstanding, trustworthy, honest, just, fair, moral, principled, uncorrupted, incorruptible, high-minded, virtuous, chivalrous, righteous, good, scrupulous, worthy, sterling, laudable, creditable, equitable, commendable, reputable, ethical, etc., you can understand why this is so!
Someone who lives by a personal code of honor is distinctly aware of their dignity and self-worth. In Japanese culture, the concept of acting dishonorably was associated with shame. Ironically this concept of shame seems to have been lost in our own culture. And the irony is that shame due to disobedience was the premier result of Adam and Eve being cast out of Eden. One would have thought that this ancient principle of shame, with so many people placing their hands on the Bible while taking oaths, would have an impact on their own “honorable” behavior. But, that is a discussion for another time and place.
According to Samurai legend, “Dishonor is like a scar on a tree, which time, instead of effacing only helps to enlarge.” Perhaps teachers and parents should point out the importance of acting in an honorable way. I used to tell my children that they need no unique tattoo, hair style, or type of dress to be seen as special – I gave them my name. That is special enough – don’t shame me. They never have and they never will.
Mr. Weber is the chief instructor at the Aikido Academy of Self-Defense located at 16134 North Oracle Road, in Catalina. He has more than 45 years of experience in the Martial Arts and has achieved skills in a variety of disciplines. He also teaches Tai-Chi with classes on Wednesday from 11 a.m. to noon and Saturday from 9 to 10 a.m.
Please call (520) 825-8500 for information regarding these and other programs. If you wish, check out the website at www.AikidoAcademyOfArizona.com.