Live a life of strength and honor

I love war movies. Maximus, the main character in the movie
“Gladiator” imparted these words of wisdom to his men before each
battle: “strength and honor.” Maximus was a very strong character
with great integrity, and his exploits made him a very important
person in the Roman Empire. His life was dedicated to his country,
wife and son. Be strong and be honorable. I remember my mother
and grandmother teaching me as a young boy to always tell the truth.
Whether I always adhered to this advice is another question, but the
lesson was people who speak the truth are honorable people.
My first job as a 14-year-old was working for the New Orleans
Housing Authority. It was a summer job, and we worked outside
all day in the south for only $3.35 per hour! The job was manual
labor, and it was very tough. My mother would not let me quit,
primarily because we needed the money. The experience taught me
how to be strong and never quit. In the movie “Soul Food,” the
character named “Big Momma” described how her deceased husband had gambled away
the family assets. In a profound line, she explains that she
cleaned white folks’ houses because she had to “stay strong to
save the family.” I will never forget that line because it resonates
with my life experiences. All I have done and accomplished
to this point has been to please God, stay strong in my
endeavors and preserve my family. Another movie line I really appreciate
comes from the movie “Troy.” The Greeks are descending on Troy
via the sea to destroy everything in their path because of one
man’s dishonor in taking another man’s wife. Hector, the Trojan prince
and leader of the army, tells his troops that he lived his life by
a simple code: “Honor the gods, love your woman and defend your country.”
I recommend a life of strength and honor. Will we make mistakes
that show weakness and dishonor? Of course, but strive to
recover and make amends, my friend! Be strong and be honorable!
Devin Oten
DO Enterprises
Writer, Public Speaker and Philanthropist