An early Saturday, but I'm not going far; I have a rather rare opening shift at the store today. It's also supposed to snow...so it's probably going to be a madhouse. Too bad we did the spring floorset earlier in the week. (No, really!) Where were you in October when we were stuffed to the gills with winter stuff?
But on to the matters at hand.
I've sworn a lot of oaths in my life. Beginning from when I was about 8 years old, with one you might have heard about:
I promise to do my best to do my duty to God and my country, to help other people, and to obey the Law of the Pack.
I've spent much of my adult life teaching boys the meaning of these words...things like honor, duty, and the importance of keeping a promise.
Some 30 years ago now, I made another promise to a small group of friends while in high school...men I'm still in touch with today, and the origins of the term "Your Loyal TriSec". This also perhaps kindled my interest in politics; it's a total geek thing, but if anyone is familiar with micronationalism, you might have some inkling what this is about.
The oath I take most seriously, and one that has been a guiding principle of how I conduct myself and my affairs comes from Scouting's honour society...I won't quote the whole thing, but the relevant passage is thus:
I will always regard the ties of brotherhood in the Order of the Arrow as lasting, and will seek to preserve a cheerful spirit, even in the midst of irksome tasks and weighty responsibilities, and will endeavor, so far as in my power lies, to be unselfish in service and devotion to the welfare of others.
Ah, but this is all Scouting, which to many is a world unto itself. As far as I know, the only candidate with any Scouting background was Rick Perry (who is an Eagle), but is no longer playing.
Scouting isn't the only place where there are oaths...I'd have to guess that at one time or another all of us have participated in one kind of promise or another. There's another one that a lot of us are familiar with, and it usually goes something like this:
I take you to be my lawfully wedded (husband/wife).
Before these witnesses I vow to love you and care for you as long as we both shall live.
I take you, with all your faults and strengths, as I offer myself to you with all my faults and strengths.
I will help you when you need help, and turn to you when I need help.
I choose you as the person with whom I will spend my life.
For many, this is the single most important thing you will do in your life. This is perhaps the only oath among them all that contains the phrasing "till death do us part". No authority gives this Oath; it's one you give freely of yourself, on your sacred honour and trust. This is perhaps the most powerful authority of all.
While I am loath to agree with any Republican candidate on anything, I do have to tip my cap to Mr. Perry again...for during a prior debate he nailed it dead-on:
Well, you know, I-- I think the voters are wise enough to figure that one out. I've always kind of been of the opinion that-- if you cheat on your wife, you'll cheat on your business partner. So-- I think that-- issue of fidelity is-- important. I mean, it's-- it-- it's a characteristic of which people look at-- individuals, whether it's in their business lives or whether it's in their personal lives, or whether it's pickin' someone that-- served-- in public office for them.
Individuals who have been-- fidelit-- in-- in fidelity with-- with their spouse-- I think that sends a very powerful message. If you will cheat on your wife, if you will cheat on your spouse, then why wouldn't you cheat on your business partner or why wouldn't you cheat on anybody for that matter?
I take my oaths very
seriously. This is something I promise to someone on my sacred honour; this is the one thing that isn't given to me by authorities or even God. These things can take a lifetime to earn, and can be destroyed in an instant. I know how powerful this can be...it's happened to me twice, both times leading to life-changing decisions.
People do many things for many reasons....but things like honor, duty, and trust should be sacrosanct. After all, if something as imposing as "until death do us part" means as little to some persons as it seems to, what hope do we have that another oath might be followed and indeed kept?
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.