View Full Version : 'Strength - Honor - Compassion' Are Words To Live By In These Times

10-31-2005, 08:48 PM
'Strength – Honor – Compassion' are words to live by in these times


By Steve Hammons
October 30, 2005

I recently noticed these words emblazoned in gold letters on a red fire department truck in my community: “Serving with Strength – Honor – Compassion.”

It dawned on me that, although we read and hear words like these often, some people are very serious about living them. I thought about the combination of these three concepts, and how these three values work together.

How can strength, honor, compassion be integrated into our intelligence operations, psychological operations (PSYOP), open-source intelligence (OSINT) and “soft power” in dealing with the Iraq war and terrorism?

Many times, individuals, groups and nations may grab on to the idea of strength or power, but use it unwisely. Strength or power may be used to dominate others, to abuse others, to do evil things. When strength is combined with honor and compassion though, it can be a force for good. Strength and power must be grounded in a solid moral and ethical foundation, or else it can turn ugly.

Strength and power may be two somewhat different things. Strength can imply protection, strength of character, strength of spiritual and ethical principles. Power can sometimes imply power over others, abuse of others and the misuse of strength.

But with honor and compassion added to the mix, strength becomes something to be used in an ethical way, in a way that upholds the dignity of human beings, as a force for good. Compassion, too, confirms our deeper spiritual nature as humans and links us to that higher, powerful force.

Strength, honor, compassion. How do they fit into our approaches to the complex situations in our daily lives, in our larger societies, the conduct of war, the image of Americans and in the functioning of the human race on this Earth of ours?

In recent months, the ideas behind these words have come to the forefront in the sometimes complex debates about the 9-11 attacks, the Iraq war, the behavior of those in government and in the military, our dead and wounded troops, actions by the CIA and our intelligence community, interrogation of prisoners and the many elements of how we behave as human beings.

The 9-11 commission that investigated the many questions about those attacks came and went. Then came the Senate Intelligence Committee inquiry into false intelligence that led to the invasion of Iraq. Were the 9-11 attacks wanted as a “new Pearl Harbor” by some within our own country?

Was the invasion of Iraq desired so greatly by some that intelligence was fabricated to justify it?

Thousands of our troops have been killed and severely wounded. Families and loved ones have been devastated with grief and loss. Psychological and emotional scars on troops and loved ones will continue for decades.

We wonder about the morality of torture, whether by our military and intelligence officers, or by those of other countries when we “outsource” torture and turn over prisoners to other nations through the “rendition” process. Have our military and intelligence personnel and contracted civilians been encouraged to engage in sadism in the name of intelligence gathering?

These are a few of the many serious questions that many of us ask ourselves. We think about them, ponder them, try to find answers. There are other difficult questions we often face in our individual lives, in our communities and nations.

Many of these things are sometimes morally confusing, or at least they are not morally crystal clear. Most of us try to be good and responsible people, moral and ethical people as we deal with these questions.

This is when we might need to focus on strength, honor, compassion. These words might help us find answers to these difficult and complex questions. We need all the help we can get. It’s not enough to ignore the questions, to let someone else make the decisions for us. Because they might make terrible decisions in our name.

To help us stay on a path that takes us in a good direction, to help keep us anchored in the storms, and to make progress in our efforts in this world, it may be worthwhile to keep in mind those words from the fire truck: Strength – Honor – Compassion.

10-31-2005, 09:11 PM
I think it's safe to say that this guy is a truther.