‘Dishonour is like a scar on a tree, which with time, instead of effacing, only helps to enlarge’ – Bushido maxim
I quite like this quote, I’m not entirely sure why. I find it alluring in a primal sense, taunting me with perhaps more layers than I am capable of understanding. Still, that doesn’t stop me hauling it out, dusting it off and mulling it over every now and then. Even if I do tend to believe it is quite self righteous to discuss honour in any form or medium.
Isn’t honour one of those concepts that is supposed to be exhibited through action and deed, as opposed to discourse and confabulation? Any person claiming to be honourable, after all, is almost undoubtedly met with, at best scepticism, but more likely, derision. Best to keep that sort of thing to yourself, lest you grind up against the benchmark of your fellows. Unless of course your people have the same code or value system. In which case, virtue signal away.
Sometimes I pretend to be some deciduous broadleaf… but I am likely one of the more knobbly, gnarled and crooked conifers in the forest. I tend to think of myself as having lots of non-negotiable terms in my life. Which I constantly seem to be breaking. Of course I keep these failings strictly to myself, but moralise and gossip over others failing my own rule set.
‘that mother fucker, driving like a maniac down my quiet suburban street’. Of course when I do it, its totally fine. Justifiable even. -Insert a gazillion examples of hypocrisy here-
Maybe honour is a percentile game? Given the choice between an honourable and the dishonourable action you take the achievement award if you choose correctly 51% of the time? I feel the spirit of the game is more akin to a single instance of wavering on any of the non-negotiables equals immediate disqualification. No take backs, quick saves or starting over.
That is quite serious.
Fortunately the Japanese have another concept I find potentially more appealing. That of Wabi-sabi.
In traditional Japanese aesthetics, wabi-sabi is a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”.
This makes my barky exterior much more cheerful.