I sometimes sit near the fire late in the evening and listen to the views of those who 'have been there, done that' or are aware of those who have. And some who lack that awareness. We sit and take lessons from fact and fantasy, from fictional people and from reality.
My own character seems to unfold. Once a Warrior, disciplined in War Art and Science, I now keep the bars in a Tavern. I have been a doctor of the psyche. Discipline there too. I have been a hermit. Different circumstances: different facets of character emerge. None perfected. But there is time in hand. Not everyone can suffer the role of Warrior; of those that do,
some suffer effects on character.
My friend the Southern Gal had things to say about Warriors the other day, right after a rather difficult conversation I had been having elsewhere with other folk. I shall turn to that first as well as come back to it later.
It was over something that had been said by a respected actor. Patrick Stewart. Nothing to do with being a warrior one might think.
Actors read lines written by others. They play parts; roles. Much of their adult life is spent well away from reality. This actor was, however, reflecting on his own childhood. And disgracefully, his sentiments were co-opted by a particularly nasty horde, the domestic violence warriors.
He is better known for playing the philosophical Captain of the Starship Enterprise but he is in reality, just an actor' and in this instance, a captive of the DV Borg. He is paid to do as others tell him and say what others tell him to say. One can see where one is going with 'character' here. His character, fine enough as it might be, gets lost.
Starship captains are warriors. And so was the actor's father. The father was 'real': the son, playacting.
I will get back to him later.
Southern Gal has 'warrior character' on her mind as she is not only married to a gallant and disciplined Knight of her own, but is about to embark on a bit of jousting training on her own account and record. I shall let her tell of that after she returns, limping and sore, target-scores waving over her head and that glow of success that a rookie often has.
But for now, she let her spirit loose, as I sat and listened.
Warrior ethos and the will to fight……
We live in a day and age where we have forgotten that freedom was never meant to be free. Anything worth having in life that is longstanding is bought with sacrifices. Nothing is free, God never intended man to become complacent and lazy.
National freedom is no different.
I remember a conversation that I had with my grandfather (who was a World War 2 veteran) why he fought.
His reply was something like this, “I wanted my children to be free.” His generation was unwilling to bend over in submission to evil, regardless of where it was. But especially if it had a chance of reaching America shores. The Greatest Generation wasn’t going to back down, and they weren’t going to run. These were not weakened men and women who only lived for themselves.
They all wanted a thriving nation and were willing to pay the price for it. ALL contributed, ALL gave of themselves in one way or another that was vital to winning the war cause. And thrive our nation has and it is mostly due to my grandfathers generation.
Once upon a time men were men, and women were women and weakness in the face of adversity was not considered a virtue in that generation. Selfishness was considered to be weak and cowardly. And you were publicly shamed if you had such qualities. Whatever you are biologically…male or female, strong or weak. All of those things matter less than what is held close to you in your heart. The things you believe in so strongly that you are willing to give your life for. If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior.
We all are going to die someday, our predecessors knew that. Life is temporary and we are all going to have to face our mortality. Men and women were never meant only to live for ourselves. It’s why we survived for millions of years in small tribes. It is why we came together and fought for what we believed in so much many years ago.
Warriors are not defeatists by nature and they do not complain obsessively. They act. They strive to make a difference where they can in their families, in their communities. Not by sitting on the couch or in front of a computer. They do not live lives of insignificance.
The truest test of a warrior is how he acts in the face of adversity.
“Defeat is… a state of mind, no one is ever defeated until defeat has been accepted as a reality. To me, defeat in anything is merely temporary, and its punishment is but an urge to me to greater effort to achieve my goal. Defeat simply tells me that something is wrong in my doing; it is a path leading to success and truth.” - Bruce Lee
We rise up as a people because we see something in our nation that is worth fighting for. American grit used to be evident everywhere in this country. Our nation was known for it at one time. Freedom is at stake, what are YOU going to do about it? How are you helping prepare your family? What are you doing to better your community? What solutions are you providing or are you just sitting around and complaining?
If we lose the will to fight as a nation, we have no future, we have no hope. The time for comfort and complacency is over. We need to be uncomfortable. Not all of us are natural born soldiers, some of us are natural born healers. But there are things we can all do to make a difference if even on a small scale. Improving where we are weak.
Our Creator gives each of us talents to help for the greater good. I encourage all women and mothers to learn how to use a firearm safely and efficiently and teach those in their communities. Learn self sufficiency skills (gardening, keeping small livestock, canning our own food, sewing). Bring these skills back to life and pass them onto those in your community.
I cannot lead the men; it is better for men to do such things for other men. But cannot just sit back and allow what was once great about this country to slip through our fingers. Otherwise there will be nothing for us and our children. We are not remembered by just living, we are remembered by the actions we left behind. We are Americans, it’s time for us to stand tall and proud of that again.
“The world is not dangerous because of those who do harm but because of those who look at it without doing anything.” – Albert Einstein
“If one abandons their principles when tested by struggle, they were never true principles but advertisements for character they never possessed.” ― Tiffany MadisonNow, this knackered and old Knight thinks Tiffany is a bit severe. Circumstances test the young too and the untutored; those who have not aquired the Discipline. They too had the hope and some returned from the fight, like the actor's dad.
Southern Gal is psyching up, and concerned. Just like her, my dear friend; this lady who comes to my bars and even down to the crypt to mop my brow and bring good cheer; this Lady that I love as a daughter and in whose company I delight (there, I hope that is thanks enough for your daily words and friendship), I have struggled with the tone, thrust, content and meaning of the stuff that goes on in the Tavern. She and I struggle with these matters. Valour and warrior spirit flows through much and I am mindful whenever I go and mop the floors in the Crypt (a penance as well as an act of Gratitude and Service) that...
the Warrior is in the world rather than in Heaven.
The warrior deals with the world with all the best qualities he can muster, and some, frankly, go against what Heaven requires of a Saint.
The two sorts of people are often very different. A warrior often has to do that which is strictly forbidden, and he must pay his dues. Thou shalt not kill.
Begging for Forgiveness is mandatory.
A Saint often has to do things which takes his life into ultimate sacrifice too. He needs to beg forgiveness for abandoning the Gift of Life. It is a conundrum: a thin line walked by both.
HOW we fight for the World that God so loved and how we treat ourselves and our enemy - whom we are mandated to Love - matters. Also how we regard our Nations and the values it espouses... or used to.
Back to Patrick, the actor. Why am I askance?
Honour thy Father and thy Mother: it is a Commandment.
He dishonours his father. Part of his real life.
He now knows a little of his father that he did not before. He was not aware. But his previous, older, ignorant words are repeated at command of an enemy.
His father went to war to defend his country (Britain) against a scourge, a horde from Hell. It had an effect. Of course. Not all returning soldiers return with their Character intact. Patrick's dad had PTSD.
This is not to excuse being violent. But we must understand. And forgive.
A son owes that to his father.
Huey Lewis expressed it perfectly.
Did young Patrick hear his father's angst? He remembers the ambulance man and the policeman's words, but what did his father say? I do not condemn: I point to our ignorances.
We do not prepare the Souls, the Character or the Spirit of the young men we send to war. Most often there just is not time. Even more often there is neither the will nor the skill. They take myth and fiction as models. They could take from the real. The veterans. The Old Men.
But many of those veterans have simply been abandoned.
We are ignorant of Character. We are ignorant of how to nurture it, sustain it and heal it when it is trumatised.
Father, forgive us. We know not what we do.
Mothers weep. Fathers wail. Young sons dismiss.
The enemy is as much within as without.
Now I shall put another log on the fire and pour M'Lady a fine drink for her words.