‘Dishonor is like a scar on a tree, which with time, instead of effacing, only helps to enlarge’ – Bushido maxim
Truth be told I am a fetishist when it comes to scar tissue. I’m inclined to believe that they are indicative of either a life well lived, or challenging circumstances that has been overcome (since you are still here). Both are worthy of respect and admiration and I’m drawn to damaged dermis and cracked people in a very profound and liminal way. The proverbial moth towards the flame. Although, now that I think about it, doesn’t the moth die in this analogy? (explains a lot of my relationships actually) In any event, I often find they are the best sort. Those with the rent skin I mean, not the Lepidoptera. And are (for the most part) pure, unadulterated sex appeal.
Although this particular maxim isn’t about physicality, it’s about the things we do alone (in the dark) when nobody is watching. Which is an entirely different kettle of fish.
I suppose I should say that I find most discussions about honor to be problematic. Isn’t honor one of those concepts that is supposed to be exhibited through action and deed, as opposed to discourse and confabulation? (Trying to remember the Paladin entry in my Dungeons and Dragons Players Handbook) Any person claiming to be honorable, after all, is almost undoubtedly met with, at best skepticism, but more likely, derision. (Unless they’re super scary looking in which case you might be better off rolling your eyes in secret… and then only slandering them once you’ve put some measure of safe distance between you and your overly principled adversary)
If you do think you are the honorable sort, best to keep that sort of thing to yourself, lest you grind up against the benchmark of your fellows. They are unlikely to appreciate your keen sense of… eh… moral and ethical superiority.
Sometimes, of course, I like to pretend to be some sort of upright, deciduous broad-leaf… but I am likely one of the more knobbly, gnarled and crooked conifers in the forest.
I tend to think of myself as having lots of non-negotiable statues in my life… which I constantly seem to be breaking. Of course I keep these failings strictly to myself, but moralize and gossip over others failing my own rule set.
‘that mother fucker, driving like a maniac down my quiet suburban street’. Of course when I’m in a foul mood and do it, it’s totally fine. Justifiable even.
-Insert further examples of hypocrisy here-
Maybe honor is a percentile game? Given the choice between an ‘honorable’ and the ‘dishonorable’ action you take the achievement award if you choose correctly 51% of the time? (I basically passed my degree like this).
I feel the spirit of the game is more akin to a single instance of wavering on any of the non-negotiables equals immediate disqualification. No take backs, quick saves or starting over.
That is quite serious.
Fortunately the Japanese have another concept I find potentially more appealing than samurai aphorisms. That of Wabi-sabi.
In traditional Japanese aesthetics, wabi-sabi is a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”.
I’m sure it probably only applies to physical objects… but I’m going to pretend that it doesn’t. This makes my barky exterior much more cheerful.