I asked my girl-friends what came to mind when they think of men of courage and honor. Many great ideas surfaced – inspirational men of history like Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther, men who stood alongside their loved ones during times of difficulties and sicknesses, and even a man who lovingly donated his kidney to his brother. Yet another friend happily said ‘knights in shining armor’.
After having a good laugh, I realized that all the examples given were indeed of men who have bravely overcome obstacles and difficulties to save the day. How about everyday acts of courage and honor? Is there such a thing?
So I did another poll and realized that there are indeed many ways that men can show honor and courage in their daily lives, neatly summarized with the acronym KNIGHTS:
K – Keep promises
It is easy to make a promise, but sometimes not so easy to carry it out. When my dad says he will get something done, be it buying the groceries or picking me up, I know he will do it. I do not have to remind him (in fact, he has a better memory than I do!) When a man follows through on what he says, it is a good indication that he is trustworthy and dependable.
N – Never say die
It is always encouraging to watch a committed man at work – be it in completing a company project, making a marriage work or raising his children well. It becomes even more inspiring when he perseveres and shows great tenacity in difficult times, like what we read in the last blog post.
I – Intentional in maintaining integrity
The recent spate of high profile men involved in sex scandals and high-ranking executives who misappropriated company money are valuable reminders of how important it is to be a person who will not compromise in the face of temptation. A friend tells me of how a businessman secured a lucrative deal for a customer, but when offered an extra ‘personal commission’, refused to give in to temptation to accept it.
G – Gentlemanly
Chances are you would have heard the phrase ‘chivalry is dead’. But is it really? A male stranger held the door for several of us to walk through before entering through it himself and this unexpected action, though small, showed me that men do still act in a gentlemanly way towards others, even towards strangers.
H – Humble
I have heard friends sigh and say of a man, “He is too proud to admit that he is wrong!” It is not easy for a man (or a woman, for that matter) to say sorry, but when he does, it shows he is humble and willing to admit his mistakes.
T – Take care of others
I recently read about a group of men who rushed to the aid of a motorcyclist who was injured in a road accident. They braved the bloodiness and uncertainty of the situation to stay with the injured cyclist until the ambulance came. In another instance, my neighbor took in a dog he found on the street, gave it food and a bath, until his grateful owner finally came for him. Men who put others above themselves, and look out for the interests of others are indeed worthy of respect.
S – Share feelings
Sharing personal feelings may come more easily for most ladies, but for many guys, it may require extra effort. In the rare instances where my guy friends shared deeply and even teared, I didn’t think they were being weak or too emotional. On the contrary, I felt that it took courage for them to be vulnerable and appreciated them for that.
Aristotle once said, “You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.” KNIGHTS in shining armor, we need more of you in our world!
Sam Chin is an Administrator with the R & D Department at Focus on the Family Singapore and is this week’s guest blogger.