“New-Age America produces books and workshops on the ‘New Warrior,’ a man or woman who lives impeccably — austere, protecting the weak, willing, perhaps, to stand his or her ground and fight, but more important, calm and graceful — the warrior as metaphor. We imagine the warrior in bed, in the boardroom, in marriage, the warrior on the golf-course. But these writers seem to forget that the warrior’s values, as admirable as they may be, are won at terrible cost. The warrior as metaphor often offends me, because the battlefield stinks of blood and shit, and sings of screams and flies.* Certainly the values that writers such as Dan Millman extol are admirable, but I would hesitate to call anyone a warrior unless we are not talking about a fellow ubermenschen, but instead a deeply flawed and guilty human being, who strives at the risk of the loss of comfort, of home, of even his or her own soul to protect what must be protected, to maintain a moral sense in a place where no morality can conceivably exist.”
— Ellis Amdur, from Dueling with O-sensei (p. 121)
*This writers thoughts on warriorship are fairly close to my own and encapsulate fairly well what I have been attempting to accomplish in my blog.
“A complete warrior is one who can act appropriately. Such an individual can kill if that is necessary to preserve other’s lives, or he can die for others. But such an individual also possesses the power to find a way through conflicts to a non-combative resolution. This power can create a real peace between people. Such a person’s presence, rather than intimidating, calms and gives strength to others.”
— Ellis Amdur, from Old School (p. 37)
“A warrior’s strategy is designed to bring his commitment into action, develop his being, and enhance his knowledge. Living strategically requires the warrior to eliminate impulsive, whimsical actions and cease being a slave to his likes and dislikes. Actions and decisions are to be based on the warrior’s strategy and have a well-considered quality to them, even when undertaken with lightning speed.* To abandon one’s strategy is to abandon the path itself.”
— Robert L. Spencer, from The Craft of the Warrior (p. 33)
*I particularly like this one. I call it “living intentionally”. Don’t just go along thinking that you will figure out what to do when the moment arrives. Have some sort of plan. Even when things don’t go as planned, at least you have a framework to start from. Likewise, acknowledge your true feelings and intentions. As a LEO I have to acknowledge that buried in all my “higher purposes” is a bit of enjoying the power that comes with the job. Failing to acknowledge the “dark side” that is within all of us results in failing to see that our actions and decisions may be tainted by them.
“Do every act of your life as if it were your last.”
— Marcus Aurelis
“Adventure is just a romantic name for trouble. It sounds swell when you write about it, but it’s hell when you meet it face-to-face in a dark and lonely place.”*
— Louis L’Amour
*Are not the simplest statements often the best?
“If there is one thing that always sticks in my mind about how Delta Force goes about a mission, it is the utterly businesslike attitude of the men. There is none of that Hollywood crap. No posturing, no sloganeering, no high fives, no posing, no bluster, and no bombast. Just a quiet determination to get on with the job.”
— Eric L. Haney, from Inside Delta Force (p. 191)
“The warrior’s role in society is to protect life and social order by placing himself between that which would endanger both.”
— Greg Walker