I’m a fairly pragmatic individual, so when I find that my eyelids are growing heavy, regardless of the time of day, I’ll say to myself and to anyone else within earshot, “It’s time for a bit of sleep with honor.” Invariably, this will lead me to the nearest sofa, recliner, bed, or other comfortable flat surface for a few moments of repose and restoration.
I began using the phrase, sleep with honor, during my Junior year of college. Thankfully, the Vietnam War was beginning to wind down and the Paris Peace Accord had been signed. Then President Richard Nixon gave a speech on January 23, 1973 in which he described the accord as providing the means for the U.S. to obtain “Peace with Honor” which had been a campaign promise he’d made way back in 1968.
The Vietnam War had been a hot topic on college campuses all across America since the mid-60’s and squarely on the mind of all military draft eligible male college students. For that reason, the phrase Peace with Honor resonated with me, and many others, as representing something which I could and would heartily embrace.
Even as a college student, I was never a believer in late nights or burning the candle at both ends. Whenever I found myself growing weary, I assumed that my body was attempting to tell me something and that I’d be wise to pay attention. As I referenced earlier, I’ve always been a bit pragmatic.
Consequently, I never hesitated to call it a night and head to bed when the mood struck, regardless of the fervor with which I had been studying or (perhaps more likely) the intensity of the party that was rolling along in the apartment next door.
In response to the inevitable inquiries shouted in my direction by apartment mates and friends as I left in search of peace and quiet in my own apartment, I’d simply reply, “It’s time for a bit of sleep with honor.”
And I’d then go softly into that good night.
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