What does it mean to be a person of honor?
March 30, 2010
A group of UW-Green Bay students traveled to South Dakota over Spring Break to build relationships with the Lakota people, to learn about their culture, and to participate in service. The group visited Wounded Knee, the mass-burial site of 150 unarmed native men, women, and children who were massacred by the Seventh Cavalry in 1890. The U.S. government awarded Medals of Honor to more than 20 of the soldiers.
So what is honor? Personal characteristics associated with honor include self-respect, dignity, courage, fidelity, and excellence of character. To honor someone is to treat him/her with esteem, respect, and civility.
How can we, as members of the UWGB community, act honorably? We might start here: Treat everyone with dignity, work collaboratively rather than competitively, keep commitments, focus on community needs and interests rather than on an individual’s personal agenda, refuse to give up easily, and learn constantly. What else can we add to this list?
Central to acting honorably is being able to identify our values and convictions. When all is said and done, what really matters to you, and are you living according to these convictions? If we value honesty, we must live honestly. Can others identify what you value by how you live your life? As Ralph Waldo Emerson stated: “What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.”
Think about a person of honor in your life. Who would you name and why? What makes him/her honorable?
In honor of the Lakota people who welcomed the UW-Green Bay students into their homes and their lives, I share this Lakota prayer:
Wakan Tanka, Great Mystery, teach me now to trust my heart, my mind, my intuition, my inner knowing, the senses of my body, the blessings of my spirit. Teach me to trust these things so that I may enter my Sacred Space and love beyond my fear, and thus Walk in Balance with the passing of each glorious Sun…