Honor is often a title given to somebody who has achieved something great. However, it is not always the case. Everyone can be honorable in their own way, and it starts with doing what is right.
Below we present two examples of honor:
- Examples of honors you can be bestowed
- Examples of being honorable
By the end of the article, you will know what being an honorable person means, which can help in guiding you to achieve a reputation of respect and dignity.
1. Receiving an award for bravery
An award for bravery might be provided to someone who saved a life, ran into danger, or even protected people from a natural disaster.
Common people who receive bravery awards include police officers who put their lives on the line, firefighters who ran into a fire, soldiers who fought valiantly, or even everyday people who stepped up when someone was in danger.
2. Receiving an award for contribution to your community
Rewards for contributions to your community are another way that community members honor you.
These awards are often given to people who have been lifelong contributors to society. In the United States, one example is the presidential medal of freedom. In the United Kingdom and commonwealth nations, you can receive on OBE (Order of the British Empire).
Or, maybe it is a humble but respectable award in the local small business gala for contributions to community.
3. Receiving an honorary title
Outstanding people in society who have done honorable things in their lives might receive honorable titles like “Sir” or “Honorary Professor”.
In Britain, this is called being knighted. For example, Sir David Attenborough was knighted for his excellent contributions to environmental education. Women receive the title ‘Dame’.
Honorary titles are also very common in academia. For example, people can receive honorable doctorates. This often is provided to people who have done something excellent, but didn’t actually complete a PhD.
4. Being listed on a hall of fame
Another honor that people receive is getting their name up on a hall of fame. This is much more explicitly merit based. To get these honors, you need to win in a competition.
For example, it’s a great honor to be listed on a sporting hall of fame for having the highest score, most wins, or best batting average within your sporting category.
Fields other than sports also have halls of fame. For example, you my be on a hall of fame for most books sold or most podcast downloads.
5. Receiving a round of applause
Perhaps the simplest way to honor someone is to provide them with a round of applause.
This often happens during formal dinner ceremonies for work, where the boss stands up and asks people to give a round of applause to acknowledge their contributions in the business.
Similarly, you might receive a round of applause while also going up to receive your reward, such as at the Golden Globes or Logies.
Below are some easy examples of how to live a life of honor.
1. You are walking the talk
Walking the talk means you are practicing what you preach. An honorable person is one who says one thing and does not violate his own principles.
The opposite of this type of honor is hypocrisy. For example, a guy professes to be an environmentalist and claims that we must do all our part in keeping the world green. However, this same person owns a private jet and an SUV—he uses too much fuel that harms the environment instead of flying in a passenger plane.
That man is not honorable because he only points his fingers to blame others, not really to find ways to save the planet.
2. You keep your commitment
A committed person is one who is dedicated to a cause. A good example of this is a job. You applied for a job because you needed the salary, and you are expected to be committed.
What this means is that you perform your duties to the best of your abilities. In essence, you understand the goals of the company, and you are committed to getting your job done no matter what it takes.
The same thing goes with a relationship—you are committed to your partner, and your commitment is what drives your actions. You do things that will make your relationship grow.
3. You keep your promises
Promises may sound similar to commitments, but they are different. A promise is a word that you declared—a word of assurance. An honorable person keeps a promise.
For example, if you borrowed money and you promised to pay it next month, you must stay true to that. You must pay the person on the date you promised or earlier than that. Doing so makes you an honorable person.
Yes, you can break the promise, provided that you have enough justification. For example, you may have been in an accident, and it is what kept you from fulfilling your promise.
4. You act with integrity
Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is looking. It is honesty at its highest level. Having integrity makes you honorable. Integrity is also the act of being honest despite being put under pressure.
People who are in a position of power are expected to have integrity. Just because you can steal, and no one will notice, doesn’t mean you should do it. People in the police force must not tamper or plant with evidence just to close a case and get a promotion—integrity is about moral principles that you uphold regardless of what happens.
5. You behave with credibility
Credibility is the characteristic of being trusted. It is the quality by which you inspire belief in others. Being credible means that you can be trusted, and it is what makes you respected and looked up to.
An honorable person backs up his claims with sources, references, and data. Some people talk, but they only spout opinions. While opinions matter, they are not credible. People cannot trust you based on your opinion alone. If you want to be honorable, make sure that people have a reason to trust you.
6. You respect people
Honor is not something that you demand; it is something that you earn. You must show respect to other people before they respect you.
What is respect, anyway? While some may define it as admiration for someone’s abilities, the reality is that it is more closely related to dignity. An honorable person respects the dignity of other human beings.
As such, bigots and intolerant people are dishonorable. They think that they are superior to others, but then they are merely sowing seeds of chaos.
7. You are not judgmental
A judgmental person has prejudice. It means that he has a fixed notion about a person just because of a person’s color, race, and religion.
Being judgmental closes your eyes from seeing the plight or suffering of others. For example, you might think that people are poor because they are lazy—that is being judgmental, but then you really do not have any idea what happened to their lives.
To be an honorable person, it is always wise to investigate and get your fact straight before you pronounce your judgement. Do not judge before you ask—it must be the other way around.
8. You obey the law
The law is there for a reason—to put an order in society. As an honorable person, you comply with these regulations, even if no one is looking. Sadly, many people would rather break the law when no one is looking.
One good example of being honorable is paying your taxes honestly—no faking of numbers to reduce the money you pay to your government. Your tax is an obligation and paying it even if you know that you can get away from evasion makes you honorable.
9. You have empathy for what people go through
An honorable person feels what other people are going through. It is this empathy that allows you to be connected to humanity, especially if you are in a position of power.
It is why some politicians are despised while some are loved. Those who really can see the bad situation of people in poverty, or people who suffered from a calamity, will do what they can to help. Empathy is what drives you to help.
10. You value your virtue and yourself
Lastly, you are honorable if you value yourself and your virtue. Honor is not just about doing what is right but also knowing what you are, who you are, and practicing your virtues.
An honorable person has a high degree of intrapersonal intelligence. It is a kind of intelligence where you are fully aware of your purpose in life.
Honor is one thing that you must value. Even bad people have honor—albeit in a twisted way. Honor refers to your resolve to do the right thing even under heavy pressure and threat. It is about keeping your commitments and promises. Being honorable means that you deserve respect. How people see your honor is what defines who you are.
Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education.