With Honors

By: Julian Bass
Artwork by Zamantha Guanlao

Do you hear it? The air of the trumpets?
The ballad of the violins? And the anthem of brass and steel?
Not to mention the call of those lifting you to glory and attainment;
All incessant reminders of your passage toward accomplishment.

Hard work does give way…yes; to persevere is to be strong until the end
But even more so, to be faithful; to smile upon your beloved
Those who gifted you with the knowledge you so greatly crave
You have become the brilliance in their eyes.

To surge with honors is indeed honorable
But the honor of plaques and medallions only carries forth the honor of the conscience
When your steps echo among the masses, ask yourself this:
“Do they cheer the golden figures, or the heart that beats within?”

Of all things, your acclamation is your greatest trial.
Will a number speak of who you are? Will this be the essence of your capability?
Will man once again forego his profound rationality in favor of material trimmings?
This, my friend, is where your art truly shines.

The true essence of the good lies not in their credentials,
Nor even their achievements, but in their choices.
That’s it; it is an honor to be showered in praise 
But to be honorable comes from your considerations beyond yourself
Believe it, friend!
The greatest honor of all, unhindered by lust, power, or greed, is kindness.

As you stand before the congregation of elation, smile with good hope!
Smile not just for yourself, but for those who look up to you
Become the idol that embodies honor, and guide others down the path of goodness.
Be honored… Be honorable.



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