I believe in giving honor and respect where it is due. I believe the best way to get people to act nobly is to treat them as if they are noble and worthy of respect. In societies with landed gentry, the concept of “noblesse oblige” evolved – the idea that nobles had an obligation to act nobly. I think that in this modern egalitarian age we have developed a sense of “commonness obliges” – the idea that unversal peasantry obliges us to act like rabble. Even those peasants that happen to be billionaires.
I believe in honorifics and formalism. I believe in welcoming a visiting friend with celebration and honor – even if you see them every day.
I believe in escewing any feelings of embarrassment for giving honor to figures we respect, living and dead – no matter how cliched they may seem. I believe in honoring them in truth, neither elevating them to idols nor allowing their flaws to overshadow their accomplishments.
I believe in pomp and ceremony. I believe everyone needs to be the center of attention once and awhile.
I believe that where respect and love has been buried under years of familiarity, rituals should be rediscovered or created. I commit myself to the discovery and evolution of rituals to sanctify and elevate the mundane moments of life.
I pledge to show my appreciation of those I respect and love, not once but continually. I seek to banish the ingrained feeling that vocally cherishing our friends is something that’s Just Not Done.
I focus on ritual because it reminds us of the importance of our actions and our relationships. I seek to form a self-image that encompasses my effect upon my surroundings, my family, and my community.
I believe in living life as art, not merely as a mechanical procedure. I believe that a life lived without self-expression is a life not lived at all.