What is honor? An essay suitable for applications.

Essay by jay2seaHigh School, 10th grade March 2003

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Honor is a subjective right. More specifically, honor is a right to respect as an equal. It has the following characteristics: (1) it can be lost, (2) it is single and indivisible, (3) in order that the right be retained the individual must follow certain rules (the honor code), and (4) there is at least one term in the language that always, or at least frequently, refers to this right.

As defined by the dictionary, honor is a high respect that earned through deeds and reputation. But, what is honor, and how does one receive it? Honor is like many things that are hard to put into words. For example, describing honor is like trying to describe any emotion like love or hate or any other feeling. But, also, honor is something that in an instant, people know someone has. So, again, what is honor, and how does one receive it?

Honor, as the dictionary states, is a high respect that is earned.

People describe heroes as "being with honor" or "honorable." A hero is merely one way of gaining that high respect. By showing courage and wisdom where others faltered, a person gains a sense of respect among others. Slowly, as good deeds accumulate, that respect turns into something more, and without knowing the time or place, a person has gained his honor.

Many fictional stories have exaggerated the sense of honor to put the point across. Mixed with honor comes vengeance and such. In the Old World ways, all families had a sense of honor. If someone did something rather contemptible, a family would lose its respect in society. The only way to get that back would be to prove that deed never happened.

But, honor does not just come from doing remarkable things in impossible situations.