Brits with strong convictions regarding the sacrosanctity of British migrant policy commented fiercely during the recent furore in UK press pertaining to Shamima Begum, the jihadi bride who expressed purportedly sincere regret for her decision to travel from her home country, England, to Syria to join the Islamic caliphate movement, bearing children to the Muslim group.
In a recent interview, having been stripped of her UK citizenship, Begum drew our attention to reality of the draw to such far flung places for arguably, a sense of identity, purpose and even escape from depression in Bangladeshi-British family.
Whether or not your view was she should be granted permission to re-enter the UK, it is undeniable that the systems of cultural and religious descent for a woman in her position are complex, when faced with ‘true’ believers and an aspiration to adhere more rigidly to Islam. It sparked a reopening of discussions relating to other widely known systems of religious treatment of women, namely honour killings.
Change continent and without needing to issue a spoiler alert, in the blockbuster final scene of ‘The Last Samurai’ starring Tom Cruise, we see again the systems of ‘honour’ and ‘death’ be married when the protagonist commits “Seppuku”; a ritual suicide reserves for samurai warriors which is intended to restore honour when something unfavourable or shameful has happened to the individual and thus their family.
So what is ‘honour’ then? And why is it a central pillar to Phoenix?
We spoke about empowerment in our last piece as being affirmed in your identity will give you the free range to know your strength and authority to make positive change; a key part of this is being to see an individual in their unique gifting and talents, and then usher them forward to embrace and develop in these life-giving areas. Honour calls this out and shows value; value which propels forward.
Honouring creates a ‘grace space’ for that person; the acknowledgement of how awesome they are in their groove and exhorts them to continue developing, encouraging via practical ways and expanding their pre existing vision of who they can become. [‘Exhorts’ here is simply praising someone or building someone up.] It gives them a hope and a future. Purpose in the moment even if they’ve not achieved ultimate dream…. yet.
Honouring can be done by anyone for anyone; it says more about someone if they “can’t” honour, as everyone on Earth, we believe, has intrinsic abilities that can be unearthed and drawn out. As the age old phrase reminds us; the eye of the beholder perceives beauty! And this ‘eye’ must be have humility and solid identity in themselves to have the selflessness to communicate this.
Finally then, why do we honour though I hear you ask! It sounds like a lot of effort!
True, mustering your energy to initially greeting each person, asking how they are, praising what they been doing, enquiring how they achieved their outcome, and then checking in by message in a week, seems long.
But follow our lead with these simple steps to keep honouring streamlined and received where it’s appreciated, 1- choose people who are receptive to the input and will respond and grow in the praise 2- be around a team who will honour you too 3- honour yourself! start each day with 10 [or 5 to start] things about yourself which make the world a better place.
Ultimately, how do you want to be remembered, an impactful individual who left grace and inspiring breath which pushed others to be their best version of themselves? Or someone who saw the speck in another’s eye, while all the while there was a plank in their own?