It’s time to introduce all of you to what I have called “The Paladin Code.” It’s eight points of character that are, in large part, based on Bushido, or Way of Warriors. It’s the code that a Samurai warrior would live by, and even more importantly, die for.
Samurai, or Bushi, served a daimyo, or feudal landholder. Originally, the Samurai were not warriors, as even the word Samurai means “one who serves.” Over time, their roles changed, and they became the ruling military nobility in premodern Japan, and are forever fixed in our imaginations as some of the mightiest, highly skilled and expertly trained warriors ever to walk the earth, and bound by a code of honor that elevated them far above any other armed force of their time – a period of roughly 600 years. The Samurai were required to read the teachings of Confucius (551-479 BC) and Mencius (372-289 BC), Chinese philosophers. The Samurai, taking these teachings, developed and adopted Bushido beginning around the 16th century.
In 1900, author Nitobe Inazo published his book, Bushido: The Soul of Japan, exploring the ways of the Samurai, which had been disbanded in Japan almost 25 years earlier, in 1876 by the emperor of Japan, in order to form a large conscripted army like the other world powers, in fact, Japan used Germany as their model. In his book, Inazo identified seven virtues of the Samurai: Righteousness, Courage, Benevolence, Politeness, Sincerity, Honor, and Loyalty.
While the Samurai were adopting Bushido as their creed, half a world away, the Knights Hospitaller, the military arm of the Catholic Church started using an 8-pointed cross as a symbol. The cross is composed of four identical”V” shaped arrows, converging at the center, resulting in a cross with 8 points. The 8 points of this cross has been given many symbolic meanings over the centuries, with some organizations identifying the points as representing the 8 Beatitudes delivered by Jesus at the Sermon on the Mount. The Knights, however, may have had their own reason for adopting the Maltese Cross as their symbol, as the eight points represented the Eight Obligations of the Knights: Being Truthful, Having Faith, Repentance of Sins, Humility, Justice, Showing Mercy, Being Wholehearted, and Endurance of Persecution.
When we compare the Virtues of the Samurai and the Obligations of the Knights, they are not that dissimilar. From these 2 tenets, The Paladin Code was born, and there are 8 Points to Living a Life of Meaning and Influence. These points include:
- Compassion and Respect
- Honesty and Truth
- Honor, Duty, and Loyalty
- Self-Control and Discipline
- Diligence and Perseverence
Each of these 8 Points will be explored in depth as we go along in our Hero’s Journey. We have adopted the Maltese Cross as our symbol, so we can remember the 8 Points of the Code, and a militaristic-style stencil font for our logo was chosen so that we remember that we must approach our lives with a mindset of strength and power. We will learn these points, discuss them in council, and they will be yours to master, and to be your legacy.
Learn these Points. Live by these Points. They can be your guideposts in every action. They can change your thoughts, change your words, change your actions, and change your life. Adopt these points as your creed. Live them, and love them. Bring yourself into the inner circle of brothers. We can be, we will be, we are:
I am a Paladin…….How may I learn more about ‘The Eight Points’ of your ‘Paladin Code?