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Miguel de Cervantes

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My honor is dearer to me than my life.
--
Part I, Book IV, ch. 1.

 
Miguel de Cervantes

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Some men who are not real men love other things about themselves, but the real man believes that his honor is dearer than his life; and a nation is merely all of us put together, and the nation's honor is dearer than the nation's comfort and the nation's peace and the nation's life itself.

 
(Thomas) Woodrow Wilson
 

Like most people of my age, I feel a longing for what is lost and cannot be restored. But if the happy pursuits and casual beauty of youth prove ephemeral, something better can endure, and endure until our last moment on earth. And that is the honor we earn and the love we give if at a moment in our lives we sacrifice for something greater than self-interest.
We cannot choose the moments. They arrive unbidden by us. We can choose to let the moments pass, and avoid the difficulties they entail. But the loss we would incur by that choice is much dearer than the tribute we once paid to vanity and pleasure.

 
John McCain
 

Alas, the debt someone incurs at the gambling table, by throwing dice, in a game of cards, is called a debt of honor; I suppose that because it is meaningless in itself we have to give it an impressive name and then hurry to be rid of it. The debt to God is not a debt of honor like that, but it is, nevertheless, an honor to be in debt to God. It is an honor not to owe fortune anything, but to owe God everything; not to owe fate anything, but to owe providence everything; not to owe caprice anything, but to owe a fatherliness everything.-In this way, he who prays aright struggles in prayer and is victorious in that God is victorious.

 
Soren Aabye Kierkegaard
 

“Perpetual peace is a dream,” he said, “as much as we may yearn for it—but war! War is an integral part of God’s ordering of the universe, without which the world would be swamped in selfishness and materialism. War is the very vessel of honor, and who of us could endure a world without the divine folly of honor? That faith is especially true and adorable which leads a soldier to throw away his life in obedience to a blindly accepted duty, in a cause he little understands, during a campaign of which he has little notion, under tactics of which he does not see the use. On the field of battle, where a man lives or dies by the caprice of a bullet or the verdict of a bayonet, life is at its best and healthiest.”

 
Robert Charles Wilson
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