There is a vast difference between the above two words in many aspects. Honour is greater than popularity. The former (honour) is given to people for sacrifice and such, while the latter (popularity) is taken by a good strategy. Popularity has an ulterior motive- one that cares for oneself. Honour lasts very long for many people.
Let’s look at the different areas in which these words are used.
Honour is used for martyrs, people who have sacrificed and suffered for a cause. The examples are saints, soldiers, celebrities known for a cause, activists, freedom fighters and more. This word carries a lot of weight. They are super heroes, etched forever in people’s minds. These are worth emulating and warriors use this word in a lot of their endeavours.
Popularity is a bit less appealing than honour. Every celebrity known not to support a cause or inspire people falls into this category. There are a lot of them.
This is a true testimony that something bestowed (honour) is greater than something taken (popularity). Hence, it is wise to always seek honour more than popularity- never advertise yourself. A sacrifice generates more respect. Doesn’t it?
Contrary to popular notions among the laity, the saints were not exactly as portrayed in their biographies. Their life had other very intricate details, often ignored by these writers. I don’t know whether these biographers were honest or deliberate in their intentions to misquote, but their mistakes are quite glaring. Though well-researched by the biographers, the jigsaw puzzle about these mystics’ life does not fit into exactly.
This is because they did not relate their lives closely to present day prospective saints. It is very much essential in writing.
Let’s look into their lives minutely- often, the minutiae is ignored. Here are some popular contradictions too.
St. Francis Xavier started his foray into the ethereal bliss of spirituality in a cave at the age of 29. I can surmise that he too was afflicted by the same illness till this changing point in life, where he started his university education. St. Ignatius Loyola too attended university at the same time.
Many of the saints were babied throughout much of their lifetime, because of their innocence to certain evils in everyday life. They were in the dark regarding these secret businesses of common people. This contradicts biographers that St. Therese was babied by her sisters since the death of her parent.
The intellectual saints like St. Edith Stein knew that their life events were very much similar to others. No contemporaries could outwit her throughout the lifetime she was blessed with.
The many life events throughout these mystics’ existence on this earth were actually handpicked by God. They pleased him throughout and hence short lives were assigned to a majority of them. Later they entered glory to be with him forever. The reason behind their similar lives is Jesus revealing to St. Teresa Avila that ‘He treats all his friends the same way’. She is stated to have replied, ‘That’s why, you have so very few of them’. This was said to mean with a bit of humor, though.
This thought is a much confusing one and has remained elusive for me to assimilate for a long time. Only intellectuals are privy to such thoughts. I was of the notion that history through the years never remained the same- all of it was dissimilar and not any of the dates matched.
After this period of ignorance, I was enlightened of the fact that this point was directed to the striking similarities among various events in prominent people’s lives. All their lives are recorded in biographies and autobiographies. These records inspired this thought. It is funny to witness that many of the mysteries are locked away from less endowed individuals.
For example, the life of many saints was the same: a long bout of psychological illness, people babying them, attending university at the age of 29 and much more. St. Therese of Lisieux was recorded to have the first two aspects in her life; St. Francis Xavier and St. Ignatius Loyola attended university at this age. Though much of their life is hidden from plain view.