Pride, Integrity, Guts


Those of us old enough to remember the late  60’s and the 70’s remember when the youth called Law Enforcement PIGS.  Never quite grasped that other than the left seems not to care for the species very much.  This is obvious because you also have Corporate Pigs, Fascist Pigs and a host of others I am sure.

Since I was in Military Law Enforcement in the 70’s I guess I should have taken exception to that phrase but I found a patch and I have worn it ever since.

It’s getting pretty faded, worn, been stitched on and removed to another jacket a couple of times now.  It has a picture of a pig on it with Pride, Integrity, Guts across the top of it.  Somehow, it made the phrase pig sound not so bad.

As I’ve gotten older though I’ve come to understand there was something much more involved than just being in Law Enforcement and wanting to feel something bad could be made to sound better.  It was something that my Grandfather had taught me, or tried to teach me for most of my life.

I certainly didn’t feel bad about the job I did.  It is certainly an honorable profession, a necessary one and one that the majority of people are not, for one reason or another, able to do.  I’ve  come to understand that pride, inegrity and guts really boils down to one word and that is what Pop had always tried to teach me.

Pride can be a false thing, you talk yourself into it.  We all have pride to one level or another and there is nothing wrong in having some pride, so long as it is in honest appraisal tempered with humility.  Guts, being brave for 5 seconds longer than the next guy.  But there are different levels of bravery.  Some have physical courage, some of their convictions, some have both.

To have integrity one must have honor.  One must understand what real honor is and that is to have the courage of your convictions and the pride to stand up for them.  I believe that is what my Grandfather taught me, by word and deed every day I lived with him, and in every action of his life, even if I wasn’t there to see.  Because I learned, through him, that you aren’t judged so much by what people see you do, but how you act when you aren’t seen.

And I wonder why this seems to be a rare thing in people today.  Am I that old?  Is it because I spent most of my growing years living with a man born just into a new Century?   A guy who would have still rather worn a Fedora and only stopped because it was so out of fashion.

Or is it because we don’t teach by either word or deed those same lessons?  For certain many parents teach respect to a degree, those what is considered respectful now would have gotten me a tail beating.  Kids in general seem less concerned with their personal honor these days.  Not just kids, their parents also.  I can’t conceive of doing things of the nature of Tiger Woods.

I cannot begin to imagine myself putting my wife/girlfriend in the hospital because I beat her.  There is no honor in such things.  There is no honor in 6 kids jumping on 1 and putting him into the hospital.  You don’t have enough pride to stand toe to toe with someone?  You think there is some sort of street honor shooting him or having an entire gang do the work for you?  I’m no where near as tough as I once was but that makes you a coward in my book.

The difference between us is I’d say it to your face without a gang behind me or a gun in my belt, though if you had those things I wouldn’t be hesitant to pull a gun if I had one.

The concept of honor was very big among the Romans, Greeks, it was with the early Americans also.  It still is today in our Military, but strangely missing from normal society.  I don’t see how we are well served walking away from those things that helped make America the greatest Nation on the face of the planet.

9 Responses to “Pride, Integrity, Guts”

  1. Salvatore Says:

    Good Morning Chas, Well siad My Friend,
    Thank you for serving our great country,
    I say to these young people… show some respect… then people will respect you….work hard…pay attention to whats going on around you,
    and it will pay off…Trust and Truth are the key.
    Seems so simple doesn’t it Sal?


  2. Jack T Says:

    yes you are right…Not throw baby out ….

    I had the same problem and I was in England. I too was not enthralled with the 60’s value system, I was in the RAF.

    The “they” you refer to I believe are a much smaller part of the whole than I think we are led to believe. People by nature are not bad it is a learned behavior I believe. In the 60’s it was fashionable to call soldiers pigs most who did it had no idea what they were saying meant. Many kids today are just as misguided but they make the news the good ones are still lurking just like we did.

    I really do feel stupid but still I cannot find what it is you want me to read.
    Jolly good…lol I will just e-mail you the links. I was going to correct that, but I hate to do things like that. I’d be happy to in the future if you’d like. I get e-mails all the time about how i screwed something up…lol It’s great to have friends that look out for you.


  3. Jack T Says:

    An interesting article Chas, however it is important to understand that our youth actually has the desire for the values you are espousing but they are lacking the leadership of how to achieve it.

    I have many years of working with young boys and girls in casual learning environments, when you listen to their views and opinions and try to understand why they believe what they do it becomes clear that they do indeed have integrity, pride and honor. All too often, unfortunately, it is misdirected because they have lacked direction from their elders who should be their betters.

    I too was taught to respect my elders but a far more important lesson I was taught was that respect is not due to you… it is earned. That is why the military has the values you describe, every man is expected to earn respect. Surviving boot camp is the first step up that ladder of respect.

    Our kids should respect their elders and betters precisely because they are their betters.

    I see very few role models for our youth who truly deserve any respect and yet they are the people our youth idolize. We must lead by example not by expectation.

    Modern youth is actually more respectful in many ways than when we were young in the 60s. They seldom call servicemen pigs, and they flock to join the military despite the fact that we are at war. That in itself takes integrity and courage of a very special type.

    We must take care to to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
    I’m sure you meant not to throw the baby, but in many parts you are correct. And perhaps that is the real point, a minority manage to rise above the upbringing of poor parents.

    Perhaps I was strange, but I couldn’t act like they do today back in the 60’s. But again, that might just be me.

    Happy to have you here. I hope my writings keep you coming back.


  4. Gwen Says:

    Sadly I remember when policemen and women were called PIGS. I never did understand it either.

    I was surrounded by so many honorable young men this past week as they prepared for deployment to Afghanistan. For a little while I forgot about the young boys/men and girls/women who have little or no moral compass to guide them.

    I’m so proud to have had the greatest parents as my guideposts.

    Another great post Chas.
    Thank you Gwen. I wouldn’t say that my Father was the greatest, since he left when I was 3, but certainly my Grandfather was beyond the call of any parent seems to answer today. I know there are great parents out there, I just don’t get to meet the product very often.

    Your wonderful nephew is certainly one of those.


  5. Gini Says:

    I am not quite there yet Chas. We only get to see the ‘kids’ and ‘adults’ who miss behave, and the rest is left unnoticed. I suggest that the news is driven by the bad behavior, and the bad behavior of those who we expect to behave, is no longer hidden fr the public view, as it once was. I consider, of course, that things are ‘worse’, by nature of humanity being what it is, however, I still contend, for every miserable ugly mean dangerous event, there should be another story to ‘balance’ that shows the great majority of ‘honorable’ and good ‘kids’ and ‘adults’ that move in our midst unnoticed. I happen to know quite a few personally, so if I extrapolate that out, I consider we alllll know more ‘good honorable people’, than bad, and we have to be watching t.v. to ‘see the bad behavior’. 24/7 news, demands stories, and the stories are usually abt bad ‘behavior’. I think that’s sad, and does ‘slant’ the view point of ‘the state of’ honor and where it fits in our society today.

  6. Dave Says:

    Great, Great piece, Chas. Great commentary. My Dad always talks about honor and integrity. Your handshake is as good as a contract, etc. My bro also is bringing his sons up same way. It’s disappearing though with a lot of the younger kids nowadays. Today in church one of my SS kids was swearing like a proverbial drunken sailor after service. Was ready to wash his mouth out with soap. He’s only 8. You should do a commentary on this for the papers or on Fox News. I think they should really have a citizen’s report or commentary and you would be great for that. You always out do yourself with each post.
    Thank you Dave. Sadly most papers lean towards the left so much of what I write is out of their main stream. I know because of the number of rejections I’ve received from the Washington Post over the years. So much that I stopped writing to them.

    Perhaps one day I will upgrade to my own domain and try to increase readership. Thanks for being such a loyal reader.


  7. Liz K Says:

    Good piece. It is interesting that just about the only time the word honor comes into a conversation these days is in connection with the military.
    I know what you mean. Not long ago I told someone that anyone that would do what they do had no honor. It actually raised a chuckle, it meant nothing to them at all.


  8. Frank C Says:

    Great read again Chas…it will never end until parents begin teaching their children RESPONSIBILITY and they lead by example.
    Trouble is where are the parents going to learn it?


  9. olinl Says:

    Well said, Pilgrim.
    Than you Duke….lol


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