The Orthodox Christian Code of Honor of the Russian Officer (1904)

The officers of the Russian Empire were educated to serve as a moral example to the rest of the people, reflecting (ideally) with their lives the teachings of the Holy Orthodox Church about the uncorrupted exercise of secular authority.   

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Originally appeared at: Стоглав

1. Don't make a promise unless you are sure you will keep it.
2. Keep yourself simple, with dignity, without affectation.
3. You must remember the line where comity - full of dignity - comes to an end, and low civility begins.
4. Do not write ill-considered letters and reports in the heat of the moment.
5. Be less frank, you will regret it. Remember, my tongue is my enemy.
6. Don't go on a roll; you can't prove your haste, but you'll compromise yourself.
7. Don't be in a hurry to make short step with man whom you don't know enough.
8. Avoid money bills with your fellows. Money always spoils relationships.
9. Don't take offensive remarks, witticisms, taunts said after you, which often happens on the streets and in public places. Be above it. Walk away - you won't lose [anything], you'll get rid of the scandal.
10. If you can't say anything good about someone, refrain from saying bad things, too, if you do.
11. Don't disregard anyone's advice - listen to it. It is up to you whether to follow it or not. Take good advice from someone else-it is no less of an art than giving good advice to yourself.
12. An officer's strength is not in impulses, but in unbreakable calm.
13. Take care of the reputation of the woman who confides in you, whoever she may be.
14. There are times in life when you must silence your heart and live by your reason.
15. A secret you tell to at least one person ceases to be a secret.
16. Always be on your guard and don't let loose.
17. Try to keep your words soft and your arguments firm in an argument. Try not to annoy your opponent, but to persuade him.
18. It is not customary for officers to dance at public masquerades.
19. When speaking, avoid gesticulation and do not raise your voice.
20. If you have entered a society in which there is a person with whom you have quarreled, it is customary to give him your hand when greeting everybody, unless, of course, this can be avoided without drawing the attention of those present or of the host. Giving your hand doesn't make you talk unnecessarily, it doesn't bind you to anything.
21. Nothing teaches you more than to realize your mistake. It is one of the chief means of self-education. Only he who does nothing is not wrong.
22. When two people quarrel, it is always both to blame.
23. Authority is gained by knowing the business and the service. It is important that your subordinates respect you, not fear you. Where there is fear, there is no love, but a latent dislike or hatred.
24. There is nothing worse than indecision. Better a worse decision than hesitation or inaction. There is no turning back a lost moment.
25. He who fears nothing is more powerful than he who is feared by all.

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