I don’t know how or why some things pop into my head first thing in the morning.
Maybe it’s the coffee…
Maybe it’s the fresh testosterone blasts we over 49’er guys get…
But, I usually end up stopping in my tracks and shake my head in wonder at where in the hell this stuff comes from.
Case in point:
Timeline: This morning in Rochelle, Illinois
What is honor?
What is pride?
Two gunfighters facing each other on a dusty street in, say, Tombstone or Dodge City….
Gunfighter 1: “That son of a bitch wants to kill me”
Gunfighter 2: “That son of a bitch called me a cheat”
Gunfighter 1: “He WAS cheating, I saw him deal from the bottom!”
Gunfighter 2: “So what if I was cheating, he didn’t have to call it out to every cow poke in the saloon!”
Gunfighter 1: “How in the hell did I end up out here in this damn street over a dang card game!”
Gunfighter 2: “I cain’t back out now, everyone in the bar is watching, they’ll think I’m yeller”
Gunfighter 1: “I cain’t back out now, everyone in the bar is watching, they’ll think I’m yeller”
[Scene 2: Lonely tumbleweed tumbles across the street, dust stirs, sun at high noon.]
[Scene 3: Hands shake, thumbs twitch….bladders full]
The small sound of “ungh….” The heavy sound of bodies falling onto the ground.
[Scene 4: The smell of gun smoke is heavy, the smell of blood and shit, strong]
The two men lie dead in the street, bullet holes thru their hearts.
They were both very proud of their marksmanship, at one time.
Now they lay in the street, their blood seeping out into the dust, flies have found their open, lifeless eyes.
Their honor intact….
Their pride is not wounded…..It is seeping into the dust.
The silent crowd is not thinking about honor and pride.
They are thinking that it is stupid to die over a card game.
Some whisper that the one man had it coming.
Some whisper that they better get home for supper…
Pride goeth before the fall….
Both men have fallen into a drying pool of honor.
No more honor.
No more pride.
Only buzzing flies and the smell of shit.
Pride is seeing your child for the first time.
Honor is seeing a job well done.
Pride is when you have fed your family.
Honor is when they say “God is great, God is good, lets us thank him for our food”
Pride is when your wife smiles at you from across the table because her children are fat and healthy.
Honor is when the children grow up and have fat, healthy urchins of their own that call you ‘Pappy’.
Pride is not blood.
There is no honor in death.
There is no pride or honor in war, only buzzing, fat flies and the smell of shit.
How can you feel honor when you never see the flag that you “have died for” draped across your casket?
Oh prideful men…
I spit on you in disgust.
Kill your brother over land…
Kill your brother because of “your” God…
Kill your brother because of his opinion….
Kill your brother because you deny him the very same rights that you treasure.
Kill him….because he is different.
The thrust of a sword…
A dead, honorable foe….
Where does it end?
When all of your “foes” are dead, there will only be you…
Alone, but proud.
Oh sinful nations….
Forsake avarice and “honor”…
Hold your chin high, when they cut off your head.
Look them straight in the eyes when they hang you.
Wave your banner, hold your ensign proudly as the rockets fall and the gore of war falls like rain….
There is no honor in war.
There is no pride in death.
Humility and compromise will make us honorable.
“It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.”
– Saint Augustine
Our only hope….
Our own worse enemy.
I hope you’re proud of what you’ve done….and KEEP doing.
“Bellum omnium in omnes”
A war of all against all…..