Knights of Valor Tenets of Wisdom

A wise list.

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11 thoughts on “Knights of Valor Tenets of Wisdom

  1. Thanks for reblogging this.

    If you wouldn’t have commented on my site, I would never have found it on yours. It is a wise list, indeed.

    I particularly liked the last one: To err is human.

    It speaks volumes to me.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it, too. 🙂 As I said on the original post, many of these points remind me of excerpts from the Tao, which I have been browsing recently. They are both very enjoyable and thought-provoking reads on what it means to be human.

  2. Rana,

    I read through this, took a break to think about it and then read it again. While it is an interesting list, I do not agree with all of it. Actually there are a fair number of points I don’t agree with. #1 Respect is something that must be earned and not blindly handed out to any and everyone. For example, do I respect people that think black people are inferior to caucasians? Absolutely not – and I never will. I can skip over #2 and 3 as I mostly agree with it but find it a little pious in tone. #4, I don’t agree with at all. Anger is an emotion that is essential to human survival. The need to recognize an enemy and destroy it when threatened. #5 I agree with, #6 is alright, 7&8 absolutely not in agreement with at all. I don’t necessarily respect other’s opinions – see above. 9-11, in complete agreement with. 12, not so sure. Keeping secrets is usually not a good idea.13-15 I’m more or less indifferent to. 16-20, complete agreement.
    I don’t agree with all of the tenets and therefore will not always follow them. Some of them come off as a little too absolutist in my opinion. The only real rule I try to follow is the golden rule, which is really only as good as the person saying it. Through trial and error, we’ve learned that a sense of proportion is required for everything in every situation. For example, would I want a rapist to be treated as I would like to be treated? No, nor do I think he deserves to be treated as I should be.

    • Hey Ashley! I do partially agree with you about #1, but not completely. Honestly, I think the list ought to be reversed, with #21 as the first tenet. Namely because we are human; even if we know the tenets, that does not mean we will follow them 100% of the time. We cannot. Aspects of this list go against human nature if followed completely. That does not mean that they are not wise things to attempt to follow as much as we can. In this way, it is natural, and just in most cases, to respect people only to the extent that they deserve in our eyes. Someone who is not respectful to us will not be respected by us. This becomes a spiral of disrespect, though. The only way to stop it is to break the spiral and follow the tenet. If someone is disrespectful toward you about one aspect of your life and projects that upon you as an entire person (such as the case of religious belief), if you find an aspect of that person to respect and let them know that, it may open their eyes to aspects of you which they actually do respect, but ended up overlooking for the sake of laziness. If the person does not catch on, and continues to disrespect, you move to #4; instead of getting angry, you calming walk away. I would say it is better to break the connection than dwell on it.

      Although I understand what you mean about #4, I don’t think the message of this point is necessarily to never be angry. Absolutely, anger is an aspect of human nature, just as jealousy or hatred. I believe the last of these tenets should be emphasized regarding this as well, however, to show that we are certainly susceptible and will always, at some point, commit acts of anger, or thoughts, or what have you. That does not mean we should not make attempts to stop ourselves mid-act, remembering that anger is a much weaker response than calm.

      With #7, it doesn’t say whether the purpose is positive or negative. This one reminds me of a little clip from one of my favorite musicals, “Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog”:

      Penny: “You know, everything happens…”
      Billy: “Don’t say ‘For a reason.'”
      Penny: “No… I just mean, everything happens.”

      I expected you wouldn’t like #8. You know how I look at such things, I don’t have to respect the person’s opinion to respect the person as a human being. I make sure as best I can to separate the person’s opinion from the person. And again, if the person makes their entire self about that opinion which I don’t respect, I calmly let the ties break and move on.

      I think 12 might be less about keeping secrets and more about having discretion about what you share. TMI, man, TMI. XD

      The final difference I think you and I have is that, again back to the separation of a person and their opinions, is the difference between a person’s opinion and the actions which that person performs through those opinions. Respect a person as a person, respect that person’s opinions, even if you don’t agree with them. When that person acts on those opinions which you do not respect, and so performs a disrespectful action which cannot be undone, THAT is what the line is drawn and disrespect is directed back to that person.

      • Rana,

        I wrote my first post fairly late at night when I was tired and not fully committed to explaining my views. I’ll see if I can’t clarify my position a little.
        Concerning respect, there were 2 different injunctions. The first was respect others (the person) and the 2nd was respecting an opinion. Sometimes lines can be blurred between the 2. As I mentioned in my example, respecting the opinion of your garden variety racist is something that is simply out of the question for me. It’s never going to happen. Now, lets just say that person also happens to be of the opinion that women should be treated as equals to men — something I am in complete agreement with. Even though he/she has some compatible beliefs, I would find it very hard to respect him/her as a person because one of his/her beliefs is not only incompatible with mine, but is also incompatible with any notion of what I would think a civil society should be — equal treatment for all. NOW, on the other hand, when it comes to matters of politics, that’s maybe a difference of opinion but is more likely to be about the details regarding how we construct a civil society rather than what makes a civil society, if you follow me. We agree on fundamentals (like equal rights for all), now do we agree on universal health care for example? Should everyone pay their own way or should we make it so that the more fortunate help the less fortunate? It ties in with #8 on the list (about respecting opposing opinions, they’re never going to change their mind.). Fair enough, that person may be a racist for his/her entire life, I can’t stop that. As long as they hold that opinion, there won’t be one ounce of respect directed towards them from me.
        Now keeping on the topic of respect, I read in one of your posts (I don’t remember where) that I don’t respect your beliefs – which is true. I don’t respect the belief but I have respect for you as a person. You’re patient, civil, and intelligent and you don’t use your beliefs as a moral absolute, and you don’t require that other’s accept your beliefs as truth. No bribery, no blackmail, nothing of the sort. You’re a resectable person in my opinion. But there are many people who hold beliefs of a similar nature (like the ones you met in the coffee shop the other day) who are not respectable people in my opinion. They value their beliefs more than they value other’s right to privacy, their right to free expression, they’re absolutely convinced that they’re right and are hostile to those who don’t agree with them. Such people I am afraid to say will never, ever be respected by me as long as they continue to do that.
        The part that struck me as kind of pious in tone and somewhat condescending was the fact that it referred to anger as weakness. In other words, if you stay calm, you’re strong, if you get angry, you’re weak. I massively disagree with this. When someone tells me that…lets say…my gay friends are to be considered less than human and under no circumstances should they be allowed to get married, nor should they be afforded the same rights as heterosexual married couples, I get angry. I get angry and depending on the tone of the implication, I get hostile. It’s the appropriate response and as far as I am concerned, it’s the exact opposite of weakness. It has nothing to do with turning to violence or anything of that sort. In my case, it’s nothing more than making comments on Yahoo for example when I see people spout garbage like that. The anger, hostility and civility of my response is in direct proportion to the perceived hatefulness of the original post.
        I think the list overall was fairly good with the exceptions I pointed out in my opinion. I am always leary of lists that contain absolutes. i.e. “love your neighbour as yourself” “thou shalt not kill”. “Anger is weakenss, calm is strength” What happens when your neighbour ignores those injunctions and breaks into your home and is about to kill you or your family? What do you do? You either disregard the injunctions yourself and fight back, or die. Relativism is the only way to go as far as I am concerned.

  3. I think the list is about moral ideals. For it to work well, all would have to adhere to it. That is probably never going to happen. Like all of these type of lists from the Ten Commandments onward, few people can follow them all of the time. I think I messed up several times already today, and I haven’t finished my coffee.

    (Also, I am not sure that the writer wrote this in order of importance, even considering the last one. The list should work just as well in any order.)

    • Agreed. Unlike the Ten Commandments, however, which (at least a spare few of them, such as thou shalt not kill) can be considered foundations for morality (meaning they are one-liners which state moral lines which everyone can agree with), these tenets I would say are guidelines, suggestions on how to keep our humanity in perspective. It is not possible to follow all these tenets to a ‘T’, but it can do nothing but good for an individual to attempt to keep them in mind when certain situations arise that could use the guidance provided in these tenets.

  4. Pingback: Introduction to the Tao Te Ching: Something You’ll Never Find in a Bible | Virginia the Viruliferous

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