Over the last year or so, I have written about leadership, manliness, and brotherhood; those articles are posted here for your review. One of the common themes to which I have alluded is the idea that every man is different. These differences come in many forms, intensities, and depths, and they make us who we are as individual men, for better or worse. In many cases, some of these differences form a chasm that prevents men from meaningful organization; in other cases, they are merely different shades of the same color. Differences among principled men, united in purpose, serve to make their organization stronger, more agile, and more resilient.
One of the major differences all men bring to an organization, is a concept that modern man seems to have forgotten over time. This concept is the idea of the warrior. Each era of man has had its idea of what it meant to be a warrior, and the Modern Era is no different. What has changed however, is that modern Western Civilization seems to have forgotten – willfully or negligently – that warriors are more than mere automatons in human form, and are in fact composed of flesh, blood, and bone. As with being a man, being a warrior is more than the sum of ones components.
The purpose of this piece is to introduce a series of short articles; the centerpiece of each being a specific aspect of being a warrior. I intend to expose you to the concepts of what is, and what is not a warrior. Using the acronym RACISTS (a happy coincidence, I am sure), I will break out seven key elements which I find essential in understanding the essence of becoming – and being – a warrior, and leading a warrior’s life.
In the succeeding articles, we will delve into such themes as Recognizing, Awakening, Cultivating, Improving, Steeling, Targeting, and Sustaining the warrior, not only the one each of us has inside ourselves but also the one waiting in our brothers. Each article will cover a single aspect to keep the length reasonable, readable, and palatable to those of us who have challenging attention spans.
Before I close-out this introduction, we need first to answer the question: What is a warrior? If we break a warrior down into some general attributes, we find confidence, strength, aggressiveness, discipline, being active, and bravery among them. But these arbitrary characteristics are not the whole of a warrior’s essence. He must also be one who sacrifices himself for the good of others.
In a more esoteric sense, being a warrior is more than taking up arms and fighting. A warrior must serve his community, his tribe, and his nation, as well as protect his homeland. This service requires clarity, focus, determination, courage, consistency, and zeal for life. This latter one includes not only the life of the warrior himself, but also the lives of those for whom he toils: his people.
Do not misconstrue my words. I do not believe that a man must engage in physical combat to be a warrior. History is replete with examples of these physical warriors; in fact, I would even suggest that history books contain an over-abundance of their tales. However in my experience, warriors consist not only of those who wield their bodies, but also those who wield their mind, and still others who wield their soul; each according to his ability, skills, and talents.
I look forward to undertaking this journey with you, and I welcome your comments. Each of us has had experiences which make our brotherhoods better and stronger. Let us all benefit from them. Let us become warriors – of body, mind, and spirit – for ourselves, each other, and our people.
Next in The Warrior Series: Recognizing the Warrior