The 8 Points
This virtue is easily understood by Club Members because lying, especially to other MC’s, is well known to be an unrecoverable error. You never get a second chance after lying. However, there is more to this virtue. Wikipedia defines Honesty (Truth) as follows: Honesty refers to a facet of moral character and connotes positive and virtuous attributes such as integrity, truthfulness, and straightforwardness, including straightforwardness of conduct, along with the absence of lying, cheating, theft, etc. Furthermore, honesty means being trustworthy, loyal, fair, and sincere. "Honesty is the best policy" is a proverb of Benjamin Franklin; however, the quote "Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom" is attributed to Thomas Jefferson, as used in a letter to Nathaniel Macon. Considering this, our 1st Eight Point means much more than just not telling a lie....it suggests a way of life.
Although some historians disagree what the actual Eight Point virtues were (Religious or Military based) this one can easily be assumed to be referring to a belief in God and that His hand will guide us. For our purposes this virtue is more in line with the intent of the Knights who wore this in Military service. Faith is the virtue that bonds us as a Brotherhood as in our Faith in each other. Each of us has complete faith that any EODMC Brother has our back no matter what. But there’s more than that...our Faith in each other also infers Loyalty. One of the seven virtues of the Samurai described it like this: Loyalty is faithfulness or a devotion to a person, country, group, or cause.
This virtue is without doubt one of the most important in the MC community. Respect is what every Patched Member wants and expects. It is well known that if you do not Respect a Dominate MC your ability to fly Colors is doubtful. For us, all of that is true and well known, but this virtue goes well beyond just showing other MC’s Respect. First, it must be understood that as much as we recognize the virtue as something we give, it is also just as much something we expect and demand to receive. But more than that, to fully embrace the virtue, it is much more than giving and receiving Respect from other Patches. It is also a virtue we are expected to demonstrate with virtually everyone we meet. Being courteous to people at their place of business or residence is an example of Respect. Showing Respect to OL’s in our Club and women in general is required by this Eight Point. Being Respectful of the land, air and sea is also an example of this Eight Point. Living with Respect means living with Integrity and Honor.
I described this Point recently in a post on our website and believe it will work here as well.....Humility is the virtue that is demonstrated when a Brother does for another without expecting reward. A Brother would get up at 3 am to bring you gas for your bike and not expect praise, reward or payback. He will give of himself because it is the right thing to do....not to elevate his stature or to receive reward. If he provided a service, product or money and made it clear it was a gift, he should be highly insulted if that person tried to offer him a repayment (cash) later for that gesture. Humility, to me, is one of the most important of the Eight Points....
Plato was quoted as saying: Justice is the having and doing of what is one's own. A just man is a man in just the right place, doing his best and giving the precise equivalent of what he has received. For us this virtue means that we will expect a consequence for wrongdoing that is equivalent to the misdeed. No more, no less. There is no room for knee jerk reactions or making an example of someone in order to prevent future infractions. By the same token, sweeping a wrong under the rug is not Justice either. This is a virtue we should expect of ourselves but also of anyone around us.
This is another Point that has been misunderstood or at least not fully understood by all Members in my opinion. This is not a virtue that contradicts the previous one (Justice) or implies forgiveness of wrongdoing. It is actually referring to Benevolence or Charity. This is a virtue that expresses compassion for those who have been injured or in need of assistance. Does this sound familiar? This is after all the core of our Club’s mission, but beyond the charitable work we do for the EOD community, this virtue also implies that we would take our time to assist a biker broken down on the side of the road, or take the time to help anyone in need for that matter.
This virtue goes hand in hand with Truth, but also has its own meaning. You may be telling the truth when you promise someone that you plan to give them a gift or perform a service for them, but if you never complete the action, then where you told the truth that you “planned” to do it you were not sincere because you did not come through with it. Say what you mean & mean what you say in other words. Only your actions can confirm the sincerity of your words.
Endure persecution. This virtue is jam packed with meaning. It infers that we should build our physical, mental and moral strength but it also is related to Courage. Wikipedia defines Courage as: Courage is the ability and willingness to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation. Physical courage is courage in the face of physical pain, hardship, death, or threat of death, while moral courage is the ability to act rightly in the face of popular opposition, shame, scandal, or discouragement. Enduring persecution is the ability to stand up for what is right under any conditions. Many average Joes out there would stereotype us as “biker scum” and unfortunately many in the EOD community may have that opinion as well. Yet how many of these Joe’s” live by a Code? Our adherence to the Eight Points is the tool we can use to hone our ability to Endure Persecution.