Monday, September 21, 2009

honor virtutis praemium

Honor is Virtue's Reward

At the beginning of the last presidential campaign I made keen note of all the issues and tried to decide early on who I would watch closely and to see who had the most integrity to carry out the ambitious promises I expected each candidate to make. Most of my attention focused on Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama since they were the only candidates which were tackling the issues I felt were the most important. Barack's were all about change which were a little vague at first and Hillary's were very cut and dried. I did not agree totally with everything on Hillary's agenda but most of it was very acceptable and I felt she was the most qualified since she had actually spent two terms in the White House in an advisory capacity.

Nobody seems to talk about being humble anymore but I think it's a wonderful virtue for anybody taking the Presidential seat especially with the current caustic political climate. When was the last time we had a humble President in the White House? It seems to me that Jimmy Carter tried to fulfill that quest and he did very well at that but he also made some grave errors. I think we all are aware of what those are, or at least those of us who have been keeping themselves reasonably informed when it comes to politics.

Humbleness comes in handy when people attack your character, decisions or even your moral compass. Without it you are left to defend what you may miserably fail at defending. I watched Bush try to defend our invasion of Iraq first with a deceptive motive, which was that they harbored weapons of mass destruction and then when that failed to hold water he told us we were morally obligated to these people while he went after his sworn enemy- Saddam Hussein. If he had told us the truth of his agenda from the beginning I certainly would have appreciated the honesty and conceded that something needed to be done with terrorists in a leadership role such as Saddam held. We did not receive the truth from him, however, and in my eyes he fell from grace at the moment he showed that he did not even want to admit that he lied.
Personally, I would like to see humbleness come back into vogue in every political office held in this country. I believe our foreign policies would start to line up with all the virtues that our founding fathers obviously cherished. It showed in their Bill of Rights, it showed in the Constitution and the Amendments. It showed, most importantly, in their lives which were far from perfect. I believe what showed the most, in certain cases, was a willingness to humble themselves when they most wanted to receive laudits. Abraham Lincoln, I understand, despised only one thing. That single most disgrace on his list comprised one word: grandstanding. He didn't do it and neither should our leaders. Self-esteem is really honor made manifest but honoring yourself is rarely worthwhile. Receiving honor after a job well-done is always better. I guarantee it.

I'll reward you with a guarantee

of my finest kisses !

The Castle Lady