Saturday, September 3, 2011

How Far Is Too Far?

No, this isn't about sex.

When I posted about southern honor the other day, Jay commented with a question that got me thinking. The post talks about how important it is in the south to defend your honor and defend it strongly. I'm not an advocate of rampant violence or anything, but I definitely do not rule out a good slug when seriously provoked.

Jay's question, though, was:

"How far is too far?"

For an awkward first moment, I had no idea what I thought. I didn't comment back right away because I needed to think. I slept on it. And this is what I came up with:

When defending your honor, you go too far if you begin to compromise your own honor or the honor of someone else.

For example. Say some jerk insults your sister. You are southernly obligated to make sure the guy knows never to do that again. Telling him you don't appreciate him doing that might work fine, but mild physical repercussions wouldn't be terribly out of hand.

However. Say you start a huge fight with the guy and really hurt him, or spread a rumor about him, or vow to make his life miserable for the rest of the semester. At that point, it's no longer defending your honor because you are making YOURSELF look like a jerk instead of keeping him in line. That is going too far.

How about a flashback for this next example? Think ancient times during a war. Say there's a fierce warrior whose only pride and joy is his younger cousin. The younger cousin goes out to fight in the warrior's armor and is killed by the enemy general. The warrior might feel bound by honor {not to mention loyalty} to avenge his cousin's death, and that's fine. In those days, the only appropriate response would be to kill the enemy general. And that's fine too.

But say the warrior succeeds in killing the enemy general, and then defiles his body by dragging it behind his chariot, depriving him of a proper burial ceremony. That violates the honor of the enemy general, and is therefore going too far. Everyone deserves burial rights. Everyone, because it's part of honor.

So that's my answer. Defend your honor and the honor of those important to you, but you go too far when you cross the line of morality. You should never compromise your own honor while defending it {how oxymoronic would that be?}, nor should you step on the honor of others.

'Cause that's just dishonorable XD


P.S. You might remember when I asked you what was "gross" about a post a couple of days ago. Jay, you had a great guess, that the word means "large" in French. That's totally the kind of thing I would do. However, it's still not what I was going for XD

The post on September 1 was the 144th. Do you know what 144 is?

A gross.

It's like a dozen. 12 is a dozen, 144 is a gross.

Yeah, I know. I'm a dork.

1 comment:

  1. D'oh, and I thought I had it too because you had been talking to a french boy in that post :)

    This was interesting. That is the kind of honor I can respect, preventing oneself from becoming the person they were attacking.