The image of the Warrior is one that has been used many times to identify the characteristics of what it means to be a man. Strength, Cunning and Power are all part of this definition. But let me make the assertion that those are traits that can be abused and therefore unmanly. Instead let me suggest other Warrior-like traits that I believe form a better definition of what it is to be a man.
Since we just observed Remembrance Day here in Canada, Veterans Day in the U.S., let’s start with what we admire about those who fought and served our Countries. In the midst of extreme violence and tragedy one thing that seems to be consistent is the commitment that the soldier had to his fellow soldiers. Over and over again there are stories of men sacrificing their lives for their friends. It is this idea of brotherhood and sacrifice that I admire so much. These warriors knew that it was not just their strength or power that would make the difference in winning the war; it was their dependency on one another to survive and fight on.
In the same way these soldiers fought as warriors, there were those who didn’t fight with weapons of war but with their ideas. In Germany, at time when Nazism was sweeping across Europe there were many who recognized it for what it was, evil. A man name Dietrich Bonheoffer spoke out against the Nazis’ and was imprisoned and died in a Concentration Camp. Many others took a stand in defiance of tyranny and were imprisoned or lost their lives. These people demonstrated the traits of integrity and faith. They did not have the power or authority to force change in their situation but they stood for what they believed in, even at the cost of their freedom and lives.
In order to become a soldier there is a process you must go through that challenges you to change from the inside out. It’s not enough to look like a soldier, you have to think and act like a soldier. This process instills discipline in order to handle tough situations and achieve seemingly impossible goals. It imparts honor to recognize that you are a part of something bigger than yourself. It inspires respect for authority so that the lines of communication and trust are always open.
Brotherhood, sacrifice, integrity, faith, discipline, honor and respect. I believe that these are some of the Warrior-traits that a man should strive to incorporate into his life. So how does one do this…check out Part 2!