Lesson: Warriors have only one judge of honour and character, and this is themselves. Decisions they make and how these decisions are carried out is a reflection of who they truly are.
Meditation: You cannot hide from yourself.
Musings: Honour is the crown a true Warrior wears. It is a sign of his nobility just as a royal robe or a scepter is a sign of monarchy. Without this virtue, a Warriors is nothing more than a highly trained killer, no different from any other soldier. Bushido in not merely a set of guidelines; it is a noble code of living! Without honour, however, everything unravels. Honour is what binds all the other qualities and what gives the true Warriors their nobility. Honour is what makes true Warriors stand straight and walk tall; it is they who hold themselves to this high standard. All glory due a true Warrior begins and ends with a deep sense of honour. A true Warrior will choose death rather than allow shame to besmirch such glory.
The text I use for the Lesson and Mediation come from the Bushido Seven page on the website of the Traditional Karate Centre in Wilmette, IL, USA. They own the copyright. The rest of the essay is compiled from my own meagre musings on the subject.
On the first Friday of each month, I hope to post another Samurai Value. Traditionally, there are seven bushido virtues in all, so if everything goes as planned, this will take us from June to December.