At the time or writing this, there seems to be events that make me feel it is necessary to address, though not directly and named. Honour is hard to gain, easy to lose, and harder to regain. Does that mean that Honour cannot be reclaimed? No. I know some individuals that have lost Honour in various ways, whether it be by failing to keep an oath, being unfaithful to a spouse or significant other, or using words unwisely. There are many individuals that I have known that have lost Honour and Respect that I once held for them, but that is mine to hold. There are few situations where I would ask that others hold the same views on a situation that I have. Recently, I lost a close friend because of a situation that wasn’t a problem for 4 years, but suddenly was a problem. We lost respect for each other, and I have requested mutual friends to not pick sides, and to respect that it was a personal matter. Even though I have little to no respect for the individual, this is a personal matter, not one that should be carried through the Heathen community.
There are other situations, such as one of a spouse being unfaithful to his/her spouse or significant other. This is an unfortunate situation, but one that happens often. While people may be friends with all parties involved, those that considered themselves “friends” or “family” to the parties should be supportive of all parties involved. That doesn’t mean that everyone has to be happy with the situation, and each friend or family member can show disapproval, but that is a personal situation that should not be intervened by anyone. It is a personal situation that I have seen happen many times in my years, and it usually works itself out over time. When a husband cheats on his wife, and they divorce, many times in the future they are friends, though not always. It’s usually the friends and family members that have crossed the lines that shouldn’t have been crossed that hold ill will for far too long. Those burned bridges are harder to mend. Sometimes, it is best to let the parties that are actually involved handle the situation.
As for others that have lost Honour, such as oathbreakers, it is a different situation. We all have made promises that were difficult or impossible to keep. Sometimes, this is dependent on the actions of others. If one vows to fulfill a duty, but that duty is also dependent on the actions of others, it can make the promise difficult to complete. It is very important to word a promise or oath very clearly and very specific in order to “cover the bases”. Choosing the wrong words can lead to an unfulfilled oath. I have known some that have failed to keep an oath, and have lost Honour.. It is sad that this happens, and it affects the orlog of all those connected and present when the oath is made. Some oaths are more serious than others, and there are different levels of oathbreaking. Outlawry is another topic to cover, on another day, but some loss of Honour can result in temporary or permanent Outlawry. I’ve seen it happen to Heathens. But, I have also seen some that broke an oath punish him/herself more than a temporary Outlawing, but come back to regain Honour with the same community, or another. It is always important to be honest about ones history, especially about such matters. I have personally worked with someone that has been labeled an oathbreaker, but has proven his/herself to be an Honourable Heathen. Even knowing the background, but seeing the changes, I believe the person did regain Honour.
Honour and Respect for someone is up to individuals to hold. Emotions do run high with some situations, some more than others. But, it is important to remember not to react in a manner that would lead us to lose Honour while expressing our loss of Respect for others. The Domino Effect is a situation no community wants to be involved with, and it can lead to infighting. Time helps heal many wounds. Forgiveness and understanding heals the rest. It is difficult to forgive, and impossible to forget, but we must determine how our actions and reactions will be seen.