About the Honor Blog

This blog has been created for the purpose of exploring controversial moral problems, using the concepts explored in The Book of Honor as a foundation. Since it seeks to tackle difficult problems, readers should approach it with serious minds and should expect to have their prejudices challenged. However, an element which is central to The Book of Honor is that there are things upon which all normal humans will agree. This blog seeks out those things - it focuses on areas of agreement, rather than disagreement, so that the discussion can remain positive even in the face of serious disagreements.

The Gratiae

One of the most important conclusions reached in The Book of Honor is that acting in a good and moral way means giving value to other persons. The things which represent that value are called the gratiae, and in The Book of Honor, we learn there are three of those things:
Vitality,
Liberty, and
Dignity.

Good actions are those which support human life, which recognize the freedom and dignity of other persons. Immoral, evil actions are those which deprive persons of their lives, deny them their freedom, and/or destroy their dignity.

The Virtues

The purpose of The Book of Honor is to establish a code of conduct, a set of factors which will guide persons toward honorable behavior. Those factors are summarized in the form of seven Virtues:
Wisdom,
Courage,
Compassion,
Discipline,
Industry,
Hope, and
Humility.

These Virtues are used to guide honorable behavior; a person who considers and applies the Virtues when making decisions, when taking action, will serve the gratiae - and act in a good, moral way.

About the Author

Hopefully most of your questions about me are answered by the About page. However, within the context of this blog, I think it also is important for me to point out that:

Inevitably, controversial subjects will touch upon the political arena. There is no way to remove all bias from a discussion - so I believe the best thing I can do is to let you know that I am Catholic, and inclined toward conservatism.

Previous Posts


Feb 11, 2019: Dads and Daughters

Dec 19, 2018: The Coarsening of the Public Discourse

Sep 5, 2018: The Catholic Scandal Revisited

Aug 22, 2018: This Month's Catholic Scandal

May 28, 2018: The Immorality of Virtue Signalling

May 1, 2018: Bill Cosby In The News

Mar 4, 2018: Loyalty

Feb 6, 2018: Omelas In Real Life

Jan 7, 2018: The Honor of Science

Nov 24, 2017: Welcome to the Honor Blog!

The Honor Blog

Today is: Jul 19, 2019
Post From: Feb 11, 2019

Dads And Daughters

Well, my last post was quite some time ago - it would be nice if I could get into a regular rhythm. I think this is an example of how easy it is to procrastinate when you are setting your own deadlines . . .

Anyway, this time I want to write about something pretty basic - I want to describe an interaction I had with one of my daughters. The purpose of this blog is to create space for reflections about the way honor (recurring shameless plug: I have written a book about Honor) plays into everyday life. This interaction was nothing big, nothing momentous - heck, I am not even sure I handled it well or correctly or whatever. But it gave me a chance to reflect, and I thought that might be a valuable thing to share.

The interaction took place at a volleyball match - Creighton University has a strong women's volleyball team, and my daughter and I have gotten season tickets the past couple of years. I love the sport of volleyball, having tried to play it in college (I was not very good), and my daughter likes to do things with her dad. I think it is not too far wrong to say that her primary interests at the volleyball match are 1) the concessions (nachos, a Mt. Dew to share, and Starburst) and 2) the souvenir balls thrown out by the members of the team during player introductions.

Honestly, I am not sure that I have those in the correct order. From the first time she saw those souvenir balls, my daughter was intent on getting one - to the extent that we had tears on a few occasions. Never mind that we have a less than 1% chance of catching one - she was certain we would catch one, and she often was very sad when a ball did not come our way.

This season, when we came for the first game, I encouraged my daughter to go ahead and go over to stand over by the team, right in front. My logic is that college girls, seeing a younger girl right there, will make an effort to get a ball to her - her chances of getting one would be better.

She shook her head at that idea, so I offered to go over with her, if she felt shy. She still said no. At that point, I was not sure what to do. My daughter is very reserved, very self-conscious, and I am torn with whether to push her to overcome those reservations or to just meet her where she is, in terms of her reservation. I remain torn - as I said at the beginning, I am not sure I did the right thing, in this case.

Thinking that maybe this was a time to push - she really did want one of those balls, and sometimes you have to come "out of yourself" a little bit to get the things you want. So I took her hand and started toward the place I thought we should stand, and I actually pushed her a little bit when she continued to resist. She dug in her heels - literally, as it turns out - as I pushed.

Having managed to bring my daughter to tears - which is the unfortunate result of many things that I do - I picked her up and hugged her. At that point, I still was not sure whether I was handling things correctly. Should I still push? Was this a block we needed to overcome in order to build confidence? Was I pushing my little girl too hard - meaning that I should back off and let her just be?

So I hugged her and waited for the tears to pass, and I tried to explain my dilemma to her - I try to be straight with my kids, so I told her exactly what I was thinking, that I did not know whether to push her a little or not. Eventually, we decided we would just stay where we were - that she was most comfortable there.

As I said at the beginning, I still do not know whether I handled this situation the right way - but that may make it even more valuable as grist for discussion. How does an honorable man respond to a situation like this? I mean, I would like to be an honorable man - so what does it mean to be honorable, in a situation like this?

I want my daughter to be strong and confident, to be willing to come out of herself and take a chance. So I work to show Compassion - I believe that the best way to build my daughter's confidence is to provide her with the certainty of my love for her. I also want to show Industry - I want to take action, to push her when it is right to push.

I think I can speak for most fathers - we strive to build our children, and we struggle to find the right balance between Compassion and Industry and Discipline on a daily basis. And I don't know what the answers are - or whether I found the right place to be for that situation . . . and that uncertainty helps me to make sure that I am connecting with the virtue of Humility.