The Warriors We Need Now

Mural in Oakland,CA

Mural in Oakland,CA

There have been a variety of meanings attached to the idea of a warrior over the years there are many visions  for the shape that this archetype and profession takes. Sometimes these visions are in line with a traditional historical model and sometimes they are a personal vision of what that title means.  But what does warrior mean in a spiritual context?  How does it come to play in our daily lives, often far from actual battle?  What can this model of action, Warriorship , offer to our communities and world today, What kind of warriors do we need now?

Traditionally, a warrior code was put into place in a society to channel the natural primate aggression of humans into a force that serves and protects the community.  This aggression, when rewoven in this way, turns a threat to a society into benefit for society.  A warrior code, at it’s heart, is a pledge to safeguard those less able to protect themselves, to defend the defenseless.  A warrior chooses to face violence,  danger,  and death in order to shield their communities from these forces.  These codes are woven into their communities through the development of personal honor and accountability.  For one who follows a warrior code their personal honor becomes the driving factor in all of their actions.  To lose honor and stain their name is a fate worse than death, and they would rather face death than face the shame of lost honor.

In a modern context the idea of warrior has become muddied.  The warrior societies that were designed to defend our culture have allowed themselves to be used by elements in our society that have placed their own narrow interests over the health and well being of the people and the land itself.  We have allowed people that control these modern warrior societies redefine their position in our community as a position of power over, not service to their communities.  Over time this has led to a dangerous divide in our culture.  The level of mistrust between the police and their communities has never been higher.  The bodies, blood and minds of our soldiers are spent on corporate acquisitions disguised as wars and they are under served and discarded when they return home.   Those individuals that are called into these organizations with high ideals and a strong desire to serve their communities often find themselves trapped in damaged systems and unable to serve to their full potential.

We need those that wish to call themselves warriors to truly be part of their communities, to stand up and defend those in our society that are least able to defend themselves,  to confront bullies not be bullies, to speak for the voiceless.  Because what you do is what makes you a warrior, not what you believe.  Having great prowess makes you a great fighter, not a great warrior.  Being good at obeying your superiors makes you a good soldier, not a good warrior.  Being proficient at firearms makes you a good marksman, not a good warrior, and if how you express your warriorship is arguing with people on the internet, you’re just a troll, not a warrior.  We have plenty of fighter and soldiers in the world.  We have more than enough marksmen, and a plague of trolls.  We need warriors.

We live in a world that is rapidly changing, politically, socially and ecologically.  These types of changes are leading to times of instability, times when immense strains will be put on our communities.  Right now more than ever our society needs true warriors.  People who will stand up and act out of a deep love for humanity and the world we inhabit.    As economic divide increases in our world, we need people to stand for the poor and dispossessed.  As racism reveals itself in our institutions and communities, we need people to speak out against it and take the difficult step of facing it within ourselves and learning to recognize it there.  As sexism and violence towards women seeps into every aspect of our culture and families, we need people to demand equality and challenge those voices who seek to diminish the feminine.  We need defenders of children and defenders of the homeless, defenders of wild places and defenders of human rights.  We need warriors to stand between our diverse and beloved community and the forces that seek to divide, limit, and marginalize us.  We need warriors to stand up and join the fight.

Mural in Oakland, CA

Mural in Oakland, CA

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