This is my third installment in the random reflections from the new film “Lone Survivor” but it might be the most important one. If I’m 100% honest, this is something I know nothing about. One of the main reasons I know nothing about this is because it’s not a part of our culture. Or is it? Or should it be? I’m speaking of the Pashtun code of Pashtunwali. 

I am no expert or even versed in this code. The shortest answer I can give you is that it is a code of honor. If you really want to know all about this code, there is an extensive definition (HERE). The sole purpose that Marcus Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg in the film) is alive today is because one man not only believed in this code of honor, he lived it.

It could have led to his death

It could have led to the death of his family

It could have destroyed his entire village

To this day, he is still under great risk because he followed his honor code


Again, just being honest, I don’t know if I can say I would do the same. Would I risk my home, my family and my future security for someone I don’t even know? Would I risk all those things for someone of a different belief system all together? I’m gonna be honest and say “no.” While I could quickly point out that I don’t live under this code of honor, I would be a fool to ignore all of the other honors and codes that are unwritten that should apply. Because of my faith, there is an entire book I try to live my life by.

The man on the corner with a cardboard sign

The family struggling to get by

The widow that can’t cut her grass or shovel her drive

This list goes on and on. I know I don’t have the financial means to help everyone. Yet there is a code and an honor system that one man was willing to risk his life for. Shouldn’t I be willing to help however I can too? Even if I don’t live under Pashtunwali?

The brave men and women that serve and fight and die for this country deserve the people of this country to use our freedom for better. We live in a country that gives us a choice. Let’s choose honor. Let’s choose compassion. Even if we don’t live under a code.