“One hour of life crowded to the full with glorious action, and filled with noble risks, is worth whole years of those mean observances of paltry decorum, in which men steal through existence, like sluggish waters through a marsh, without either honour or observation.”
Sir Walter Scott as quoted by Peter FitzSimons when writing about the recent Lions vs All Blacks third test.
It caught my heart as had a clip on Facebook showing the last parade of the Rhodesian Light Infantry in 1980.
It got me thinking about passion and the drive to pursue adventure into the face of danger, and courage and why so many seek to confront death.
The warrior heart, the need to prove courage, dominate and defeat opponents?
It has been so forever: Ave Caesar, morituri te salutant!
I believe it is not just the pursuit of glory. It is justification of our primordial need to defend and protect our community and values.
I hope that the story of the Spartans’ defence at Thermopylae is still told in schools and will always be told and the Victoria Cross, Croix deGuerre, Medal of Honour and Iron Cross continue to inspire and motivate new generations.
It is all very well to debate and decry the horrors of war and predict that modern society will have no place for warriors but pay heed to the words of PF Sloan written in 1964 (over 50 years ago) when he was just 19:
The eastern world, it is explodin’,
Violence flarin’, bullets loadin’,
You’re old enough to kill but not for votin’,
You don’t believe in war, but what’s that gun you’re totin’,
And even the Jordan river has bodies floatin’,
But you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.
I remember it made my Mum cry, because there is always somewhere on the eve of destruction. She knew all our ancestors had carried weapons and served in armies and that it was likely her sons and their sons would too – and so it was.
We need warriors and defenders of our communities and they need supporters.
Hmmm! That’s as rough as guts…! Enough!
It’s Friday, so here’s something that might make you feel a bit better:
“Beer makes you feel the way you ought to feel without beer.” – Henry Lawson
That is philosophy and by the time you get your head around it, you will be ready for another one.