A son telling a story his father told him many times… the midst of the Great Depression, those ten dismal years of struggle and angst that united those all across the country… had a profound effect on a young boy in North Tulsa.

Like cities everywhere, Tulsa was working hard to limit the effects of the Great Depression. Soup kitchens were left open even under the fear of attracting large amounts of travelers or migrant workers during a time when the area was christened the “Dust Bowl”. Many families would leave and travel west looking for relief but not all.

He was one of what would be fourteen children. A strong, hard kid that would be born in 1927 and would wrestle, play football, serve overseas in WWII, marry his high school sweetheart, have two boys and serve his church faithfully. His 64 years on this earth would reflect a concept taught in that North Tulsa home that would continue down through the family tree to many generations and branches… honor transcends everything.

He was around six when this family lesson would be directly applied to the seat of his pants via a wooden paddle. Like all the other families in this era, food was carefully rationed out so that everyone had some. That one day, he was on the way home from school when passing a market where the vendor was selling the fruits and vegetables off a cart out from of an intersection.

No clue what was going through his mind, as it was never told in the story… but he would reach out for a banana then run, absconding with it out of sight. He polished it off and was marching home happily on his content tummy.

Except word travels fast, even back then. You can’t be raised up in a community where your parents know everyone, and life tended to be lived out in a few block radius of your front door without people knowing who you belong to. Word would reach Dad’s ears a few days later and this little guy would learn the hard way a lesson that would stick with him all his life.

To a little boy, some words stick… and the talk of honor, family honor… stuck.

Honor is the relationship of who you are as a person to those around you, your family, your society. It’s a personal code. Honor is the standards that you hold yourself to. It’s a verb – he honors his word. It’s a noun – your reputation. It’s a synonym – honesty, integrity. It’s an adjective – an honorable person.

There is no reason to have no honor.

Hungry? Not a valid reason to steal food. That simple concept would be carried over to all kinds of situations. Tired? Not a valid reason to sleep on the job. Feeling poorly? Not a valid reason to miss work. He would teach his sons and his grandsons these lessons. Little nuggets of wisdom that would outlive him.

In situations like these, I think the physical discipline is the attention getter… but the words that follow… those are the heart of the correction. The little boy would grow up to be a man who didn’t spare the rod, but after a paddling or spanking, would pray with his children and grandchildren about the root cause of the behavior. Leaving them with words of confidence and a hug.

How many people in our society today have no honor? They have been raised to compromise on things that they don’t like… things that maybe are unpalatable to them. Instead of rearing them to be people of their word… someone who will stand strong and do the right thing in times when no one is watching… well those people and those times seem to be fading fast from our communities.

I gave it some serious thought today… what would I do if someone came to me and said that my child stole food. Could I believe that my child was capable of that? Would I immediately offer amends to the person, and promising that said child would work off their own debt as well? Because a long time ago in North Tulsa, a man did just that.

A son telling a story his father told him many times… the midst of the Great Depression, those ten dismal years of struggle and angst that united those all across the country… had a profound effect on a young boy in North Tulsa.

Like cities everywhere, Tulsa was working hard to limit the effects of the Great Depression. Soup kitchens were left open even under the fear of attracting large amounts of travelers or migrant workers during a time when the area was christened the “Dust Bowl”. Many families would leave and travel west looking for relief but not all.

He was one of what would be fourteen children. A strong, hard kid that would be born in 1927 and would wrestle, play football, serve overseas in WWII, marry his high school sweetheart, have two boys and serve his church faithfully. His 64 years on this earth would reflect a concept taught in that North Tulsa home that would continue down through the family tree to many generations and branches… honor transcends everything.

He was around six when this family lesson would be directly applied to the seat of his pants via a wooden paddle. Like all the other families in this era, food was carefully rationed out so that everyone had some. That one day, he was on the way home from school when passing a market where the vendor was selling the fruits and vegetables off a cart out from of an intersection.

No clue what was going through his mind, as it was never told in the story… but he would reach out for a banana then run, absconding with it out of sight. He polished it off and was marching home happily on his content tummy.

Except word travels fast, even back then. You can’t be raised up in a community where your parents know everyone, and life tended to be lived out in a few block radius of your front door without people knowing who you belong to. Word would reach Dad’s ears a few days later and this little guy would learn the hard way a lesson that would stick with him all his life.

To a little boy, some words stick… and the talk of honor, family honor… stuck.

Honor is the relationship of who you are as a person to those around you, your family, your society. It’s a personal code. Honor is the standards that you hold yourself to. It’s a verb – he honors his word. It’s a noun – your reputation. It’s a synonym – honesty, integrity. It’s an adjective – an honorable person.

There is no reason to have no honor.

Hungry? Not a valid reason to steal food. That simple concept would be carried over to all kinds of situations. Tired? Not a valid reason to sleep on the job. Feeling poorly? Not a valid reason to miss work. He would teach his sons and his grandsons these lessons. Little nuggets of wisdom that would outlive him.

In situations like these, I think the physical discipline is the attention getter… but the words that follow… those are the heart of the correction. The little boy would grow up to be a man who didn’t spare the rod, but after a paddling or spanking, would pray with his children and grandchildren about the root cause of the behavior. Leaving them with words of confidence and a hug.

How many people in our society today have no honor? They have been raised to compromise on things that they don’t like… things that maybe are unpalatable to them. Instead of rearing them to be people of their word… someone who will stand strong and do the right thing in times when no one is watching… well those people and those times seem to be fading fast from our communities.

I gave it some serious thought today… what would I do if someone came to me and said that my child stole food. Could I believe that my child was capable of that? Would I immediately offer amends to the person, and promising that said child would work off their own debt as well? Because a long time ago in North Tulsa, a man did just that.

Kalynn Brazeal is a conservative, Christian wife/mom/country girl carrying around an MBA, several decades of business experience and a strong opinion. Dividing her time between Grand Lake and Colorado, she continues to share her column on life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and cake. She can be reached by email at kmbrazeal@icloud.com.