Screen Shot 2012-12-22 at 10.43.38 AMTraditional honor consists of having a reputation judged worthy of respect and admiration by a group of equal peers who share the same code of standards. In primitive times, these standards were based on strength and courage. In the medieval period, outward integrity and chivalry were added to these primal qualities of manhood. In the 19th century, the Stoic-Christian honor code drew from the philosophy of ancient Greece and the faith which gave the code its name, by seeking to form a new kind of honor – one that wed together ancient bravery with character traits like industry, coolness, sincerity, chastity, self-sufficiency, self-control, orderliness, and dependability. In the 20th century, traditional honor unraveled as urbanization and anonymity dissolved the intimate, face-to-face relationships that honor requires, people grew uncomfortable with violence and shame, individual feelings and desires were elevated above the common good of society at the same time a shared idea of what constituted that common good was lost, and people began to form their own personal honor codes which could not be judged by anyone else but themselves. This completed honor’s transformation from wholly public and external to completely private and internal. Honor became a concept almost entirely synonymous with personal integrity.

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