Wednesday, October 25, 2006
The warrior spirit
I don't know if you, the reader, are religious or not, nor what religion you belong to. Nevertheless, I'd like you to consider the story of Jesus, and his death and ressurrection.
He walked willingly into the hands of his enemies, and let them do their worst, not raising so much as a finger against them, though, as the story goes, he could have destroyed them all, by simply asking God to do so.
And they did their worst, and they did the worst that one set of humans can do to another; they left him, dead and utterly defeated... or so they thought.
For it turned out, just a few days later, they had caused him no lasting harm, and he had won a great victory.
Whether that victory was the Redemption of humanity, or the survival of both his body and his message, doesn't really matter. He won the greatest of victories against unbeatable odds, without having to harm anyone. Measure his accomplishments, versus the people who he had to harm to accomplish those things, and you could easily consider him the greatest warrior ever.
I consider him to be exactly that, the greatest of warriors, in part because I think the idea of warriorhood is greatly misunderstood.
To my mind, a warrior is no mere fighter; a warrior is a righteous being who wishes to accomplish things, to win against a hard struggle.
Righteousness is essential; anyone can take on a hard struggle for personal benefit, but the spirit of the warrior is such that the warrior struggles for the benefit of others.
A warrior does not seek to fight; if a warrior must fight, something has gone terribly wrong. Sure, the "terribly wrong" thing might be an attack that must be defended against... but a true warrior remembers that more good can be accomplished if that attack is never made, and seeks a way to prevent the attack. Some mock this as cowardice or appeasement; the wise warrior realizes that a needless battle is a waste of energy and a terrible risk.
The warrior seeks to be strong, and able to bear up under the burden, whatever that burden might be, and the warrior is willing to sacrifice for the cause... to give up his life, either swiftly, and suddenly, or slowly, one minute each minute, one hour each hour, doing what needs to be done, even if it isn't pleasant.
Most of all, the warrior is focused on the goal... he tries to make his every action move him closer towards that goal in an honorable and decent manner. He must act with decency; if he does not, he creates the very thing he abhors the most: injustice.
By each of these measures, Jesus was a powerful warrior. He struggled, and gave his life, to accomplish something good. He acted for the benefit of all, and asked that others do the same. He preached against injustice, and cared for the people around him, giving them comfort, healing, and even food, when there was nothing else to eat.
That is the way of the warrior; to struggle mightily, to avoid bloodshed when possible, and to make the world better for one's passing. It's a pity that so few people understand the true way of the warrior.