Honorable Men

In two or three weeks I will finish the third book (Forever Yours) in my second series (Yours by Design), and I’m already contemplating my next project. That line of thought led me to two questions: What makes a man honorable? Are there any honorable men today?

Two weeks ago, I mentioned Urban Meyer – not a perfect man, but an honorable one. He made a conscious decision to put his family above his career. He decided that his wife and children were more important than football. He was right, though his decision could have cost him his job. In actuality, his choice made him a better coach. It balanced the areas of his life. He’ll probably live longer as well.

I think men who are true to their beliefs (religious or not), regardless of what it might cost them, are honorable. Jane Austen was the queen of the flawed, but honorable, man.

Darcy Actors

Darcy Actors

Fitzwilliam Darcy certainly fits the bill. He recognized his pride and conceit through the humiliation of his rejected proposal, and he changed – even though he would possibly suffer in society and still not win Elizabeth.

Frederick Wentworth was another such man. The spurned Wentworth returned from the sea determined to think of Anne no more. When he raised the expectations of the Musgroves with his pronounced attentions to Louisa, he would have married her, though he realized he still loved Anne. Fortunately, Louisa fell in love with Benwick.

Wentworth Actors

Wentworth Actors

Edward Actors

Edward Actors

Another Austen hero, Edward Ferrars, held to an engagement he made when he was very young, though he did not love Lucy Steele, and he passionately loved Elinor Dashwood. Austen rewarded him for his steadfastness by having the scheming Lucy marry Robert – the man she truly deserved.

Colonel Brandon did not damage the reputation of his rival, John Willoughby, though he had both the proof and the right to do so. Once Willoughby’s true character was revealed, Brandon won the affections of Marianne, who had finally learned to appreciate a man of impeccable character more than a rogue with a handsome face.

Colonel Brandon Actors

Colonel Brandon Actors

Today’s honorable men would be found mainly in the unheralded ranks. We all can name some husbands, brothers, friends, and sons who are honorable, but who in the limelight today deserves that accolade?

8 thoughts on “Honorable Men

  1. Susan Kaye

    In my opinion, one of the elements of honor that is sorely lacking these days is a sense of duty. All the gentlemen–classic definition of a landowner–have a duty to their tenants and that sense of duty plays out in other ways. Darcy saves the Bennet family from the social drubbing they would take by way of Wickham’s antics with Lydia. Brandon takes responsibility for the illegitimate child of the woman he loved. (Very Rochesterish of him.) And as you pointed out, there are promises and impressions made that are kept to even though they would not bring ultimate happiness.

    I think Laura Hile’s last post about reality programs is a good lesson in how our society is steeped in MEMEMEMEMEMEMEMEME! Short-term satisfaction seems to win the day for people of our age.

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    1. Laura Hile

      *Laura flips her hair* Duty? Like, seriously?

      In our modern times, duty is *someone else’s* responsibility. Duty involves how they treat me, you know? I deserve to be treated not only well, but perfectly right.

      But when it comes to *my* actions, duty is a *choice.* I can decide to do right…or not. Because my first consideration is to be happy and free. To love myself first.

      Obligation? Who needs that? Right actions? So not worth it. Love? That’s something that I receive. Because, you know, I’m so lovable.

      *Laura rolls her eyes*

      /snark

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  2. Susan Kaye

    I saw a meme on my Facebook feed just before Christmas that was emphatic that if you have people in your like who aren’t supporting you, validating you, and encouraging you in all your endeavors they have to be jettisoned from your life in the new year. I was so tempted to ask the poster–someone I didn’t know–how much time they spent in any given day doing the same for all the people in their life.

    I’m pretty sure I know, and I’m pretty sure this person is a hair tosser of the highest order.

    And people like that can be freakin’ crazy and I didn’t want to pick up a Facebook stalker for the new year.

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    1. Robin Helm Post author

      The drama queens on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram probably aren’t doing much for other people. It’s all about ME.

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  3. Kara Diersing Clapp

    Laura,
    You are a real hoot! : ) I printed out your post to use during class when I am teaching nursing students about civility and incivility. I am not so talented as you to create what you did, but it is the perfect way for me to get this point across. Thank you so much.

    And Robin, I am so happy to hear that the last installment is nearly ready. I love your work for many reasons. Thank you for writing so brilliantly. Its a pleasure to read your work and the great spin you put on my beloved Austen book.

    Kara

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    1. Robin Helm Post author

      Thanks, Kara! I’m nearly finished writing Forever Yours, and it’s already in final edits. The cover is ready, too. I’ll launch it here and at Beyond Austen within a month (I hope).

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Why yes, we DO want a piece of your mind. ;-)

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