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What is Honor and how does it show up when someone acts “honorably”?

When you take a vow to love, “Honor” and cherish another, what does that mean?

In the military there is a disparaging term for being let go from service called, “Dishonorable Discharge.” It's like getting fired in civilian terms but much worse. A dishonorable discharge is a blemish on your military record that will follow you the rest of your life. A person who has received this label has violated some form of military protocol or conduct and may have received discipline for criminal charges. When a person who is in a position of authority and misuses their power over others the penalty is more harsh than with those who have no authority. This is also the case for first responders, law enforcement, medical professionals, politicians, and even mental health providers. These careers are not for the faint heart, but require a person to possess true grit, integrity, and courage. To be honored you must live a life that is honorable.

Sometimes, we adopt the challenges set before us because of our desire to be counted amongst the honorable. When I was 11 years old, I knew I wanted to follow in the foot-steps of those who I admired most; those who wore a badge and protected the innocent. When I was going through the academy to be a police officer my standards fell below the standards expected of me. When I became injured and was on crutches for 5 weeks, I watched my classmates run and get stronger. When I was released from medical leave and returned to regular duty, I could not run fast or far enough and fell even further behind. I suffered the consequences imposed upon me which were to run three times the course my peers ran. Instead of building up my muscles it tore them down. I became discouraged and was shattered when they told me I was, "washed out." This was hard on me because it was like being given a dishonorable discharge.

I had two options before me. I could tuck my tail and blame others for my misery, or I could rest and recover with the intention to return to the battle. I could try to live according to the expectations of others, or I could set my own expectations that were much harder than the ones imposed on me. So, I made a routine determined to improve. Every day, I ran 10 miles, did 200 Squat-kicks (Birpies), 200 push-ups, and 200 sit ups. I sang "Jody's" and beat my belly to make pain my slave. I practiced wrestling and memorized the penal and vehicle codes. One year later I found myself standing before the same staff that had called me names, broke my heart, and sent me walking the path of shame. I had faced adversity, took the challenge, and found courage on the other side. Six months later I graduated at the top of my class. I was redeemed. I feel honored today for that challenge long ago. I am appreciative to those who tore me down and taught me the one I needed to honor most

...was me.


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