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“Some men are much more self-sufficient than others.” ~John McCain

Blogs, to some extent, are supposed to be a bit like sound bites: one clear statement, expanded to fit into a format of three hundred words.

But some concepts, some ideals—love, for example—are too big to be encapsulated in a single, simplistic sound bite.

Some ideas excede the words we use to attempt to explain or describe them.

I present for your consideration the concept, the ideal, we label ‘honour’.

What does it mean to be an honorable person, to live an honourable life?

I have no soundbite for that, no easily digestible definition, I just know it when I see it; I know it when I feel it in others.

John McCain, buried this past weekend, was one such man. Politics aside, the outpouring of admiration and respect demonstrated by people all across the globe is testimony to his character, to his integrity—something sorely missing in many of our leaders today, those who value position and publicity over principles and perseverance.

I watched his funeral service at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. on Saturday morning. At the end of the service, after all the speeches and tributes, as the trumpets blew and the congregation sang “America the Beautiful” in full voice, I wept.

I wept for the passing of a man I never knew and for a country, the country of my birth, which the world once considered honourable. I wept because the organ was playing, and people were standing and singing, and only respect, admiration and gratitude for the life of one honourable man filled the cavernous space.

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Sometimes, we need moments like this, moments of unity in remembrance, to remind us that the world needs more honourable men and women, more honourable leaders.

We need more integrity and less ingratiating.

More compromise and less conflict.

More inspiration and less intimidation.

We need more men and women like John McCain.

Rest in eternal peace, sir.

You may have been a maverick, but you were first and foremost a man of honour: honest, fair, and civilized.

And, therefore, I contend, a self-sufficient one.

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